Holidaymaker says trip to Majorca ruined because of drinking crackdown

Furious British holidaymaker says his £240 all inclusive trip to Majorca has been ruined because of binge drinking crackdown that limits tourists to just SIX free drinks a day

  • Jason Walker has warned Brits about Spain’s tough new ‘six drinks’ rule
  • The new law covers some parts of party islands Mallorca and Ibiza
  • It splits the day into a ‘lunch timetable’ and an ‘evening timetable’ 
  • The law also bans pub crawls, two-for-one drinks offers and happy hours

A furious British holidaymaker has complained about Spain’s tough new ‘six free drinks a day’ rule for all-inclusive holidays and in resorts on beloved party islands including Ibiza and Majorca.

Jason Walker, who took an all-inclusive trip to Majorca to celebrate his cousin’s birthday earlier this week, was left ‘angry’ and ‘upset’ after discovering that there were limits on his free booze consumption.

The 42-year-old security officer paid £240 for his three-night trip with travel operator Love Holiday, which he assumed had entitled him to as much food and drink as he wanted.

But when he arrived on the beautiful Mediterranean island, he was stunned to find out that the new law split the day into a ‘lunch timetable’ and an ‘evening timetable’, with only three drinks being allowed during each.

The law states ‘alcoholic drinks will be limited to six per day’ and also bans the sale of alcohol in shops between 9.30pm and 8am, as well as pub crawls, two-for-one drinks offers and happy hours. Advertising party boats and balcony jumping could attract a £50,000 fine.

It is part of a package of measures designed to crack down on public drunkenness and anti-social behaviour at certain spots in Magaluf, El Arenal and Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Sant Antoni de Portmany in Ibiza.

Though Spanish officials first announced the change in January, hundreds of British tourists now arriving at the popular Balearic Islands for a weekend of partying have been caught out.

Mr Walker is now urging UK travellers jetting off to similar Spanish resorts to check their small print or face incurring hefty drinks costs without warning. 

British tourist Jason Walker on his all-inclusive holiday to Majorca

File photo of the strip at Magaluf on the Spanish island of Majorca

The new law affects certain spots in Magaluf, El Arenal and Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Sant Antoni de Portmany in Ibiza


Mr Walker is now urging holidaymakers jetting off to similar Spanish resorts over the summer to check their small print or face incurring hefty drinks costs without warning

Binge-drinking crackdown at Mallorca and Ibiza party resorts limits Brits to just SIX drinks for the WHOLE day 

Brits visiting Spain’s Balearic Islands are being warned they’ll be limited to six drinks a day on all-inclusive breaks due to new laws clamping down on public drunkenness.

The rules split the day into a ‘lunch timetable’ and an ‘evening timetable’, with only three drinks being allowed during each.

Other rules ban the sale of alcohol in shops between 9.30pm and 8am, as well as pub crawls, two-for-one drinks offers and happy hours. Advertising party boats and balcony jumping could attract a £50,000 fine.

Only certain areas of the Balearics are affected, including Magaluf, on Majorca, and parts of Ibiza and Palma, the regional capital.

The laws were touted as the first in Europe to restrict the promotion and sale of alcohol in tourist areas.

They also aim to halt the ‘cheapening’ of the Balearic Islands and attract new investors that were being put off by its rowdy image.

Announcing the new laws in 2020, a regional government spokesman said: ‘Efforts to promote the destination, to provide it with better quality through both public and private sector investments, and position it in an increasingly competitive and global market, have been affected recently by certain uncivic behaviour.

‘Most of this type of behaviour is directly related to alcohol abuse in certain tourist areas of Majorca and Ibiza.’

Council leaders have been mounting a fightback to try to clean up the image of resorts like Magaluf since it was rocked by scandal in 2014 when a British holidaymaker was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men.

The incident led Majorca’s top politician at the time – Jose Ramon Bauza – to dub Magaluf’s notorious party strip Punta Ballena as ‘500 metres of shame’.

In 2018 council chiefs upped the ante against badly-behaving tourists in Magaluf by putting up street signs warning them of heavy fines for street drinking, nakedness and fighting.

The brightly-coloured signs, which carried the banner line ‘Have fun with respect’ were mounted on lamp-posts and other visible spots in the party resort.

Thousands of British tourists flock to the islands every year, including large groups of revellers who have earned them an infamous reputation.

Most of the new restrictions came into place in 2020 but Covid means many Brits are only now becoming aware of them.

He said: ‘We only found out when we checked in and only budgeted so much because thought all our food and drink would be covered. We were very upset and angry.

‘We’ve come as a family of eight to celebrate my cousin’s 40th and while we have still had a good time, we have incurred extra costs as a result.’

The new law – which states ‘alcoholic drinks will be limited to six per day’ – is part of a package of measures designed to crack down on anti-social behaviour. These also believed to include bans on pub crawls, happy hours and two-for-one drinks offers, which are all being enforced by hefty fines.

Announcing the new laws in 2020, a regional government spokesman said: ‘Efforts to promote the destination, to provide it with better quality through both public and private sector investments, and position it in an increasingly competitive and global market, have been affected recently by certain uncivic behaviour.

‘Most of this type of behaviour is directly related to alcohol abuse in certain tourist areas of Majorca and Ibiza.’

Mr Walker, from Blackburn, Lancashire, said he understood the government is trying to stop yobbish drinking behaviour, but he believes the new rules need to be better advertised.

He said: ‘I understand they are trying to stem alcohol abuse and rowdy behaviour, but I think this has been done very sneakily – I was not made aware of it and didn’t know about the law.

‘We are also here as a family and all-inclusive is great for families as you don’t have to worry about budgeting for food and drink.’

Mr Walker called on travel operators to give holidaymakers more information about how their trips might be affected by the laws.

He also believes that holidays where a three drink per meal rule is in place are being mislabelled and shouldn’t be branded as ‘all-inclusive’.

‘I have looked at the small print and the alcoholic drink rule is there, so I don’t think it should be sold as an all-inclusive inclusive holiday, it should be sold as half-board or something along those lines,’ he said.

‘If you are booking an all-inclusive holiday, I recommend that you look at the small print and see what is actually included and what’s not because the rules have changed.’

Council leaders have been mounting a fightback to try to clean up the image of resorts like Magaluf since it was rocked by scandal in 2014 when a British holidaymaker was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men.

The incident led Majorca’s top politician at the time – Jose Ramon Bauza – to dub Magaluf’s notorious party strip Punta Ballena as ‘500 metres of shame’.

In 2018 council chiefs upped the ante against badly-behaving tourists in Magaluf by putting up street signs warning them of heavy fines for street drinking, nakedness and fighting.

The brightly-coloured signs, which carried the banner line ‘Have fun with respect’ were mounted on lamp-posts and other visible spots in the party resort.

Thousands of British tourists flock to the islands every year, including large groups of revellers who have earned them an infamous reputation.

Most of the new restrictions came into place in 2020 but Covid means many Brits are only now becoming aware of them.

Holidaymakers writing on social media have reacted furiously to the new laws, which many feel have not been widely publicised.

One Twitter user believed that inclusive holidays with booze limits should be marketed as ‘half-board’ – and called for hotel contracts where this wasn’t clearly stated to be ripped up.

He said: ‘Brits will now be restricted to just six drinks a day, which can only be accessed alongside their lunch and dinner – offering them a mere three drinks per meal.’

In this June 10, 2015 file photo, tourists walk on the street at in Magaluf, Calvia on the Spanish Balearic island of Majorca

Majorca and Ibiza are two of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations (stock image) 

‘[That’s] usually referred to as ‘Half Board Plus’. It’s time to cancel the hotel contracts for All Inclusive basis.’

A spokesperson for the ABTA – The Travel Association said the rules have the potential to cause ‘confusion’ among holidaymakers.

They said: ‘ABTA strongly supports initiatives that improve the health and safety of holidaymakers, as well as the welfare of local communities.

‘Some of the measures introduced by the Balearic Islands authorities to limit anti-social behaviour have potential to cause confusion for UK holidaymakers.

‘We welcome the recent clarification from the authorities, including that the restrictions will only apply to certain limited areas in Mallorca and Ibiza rather than the whole of the Balearics as originally proposed.

‘ABTA will continue to engage with the Balearic Islands Government, ABTA Members and other parties, to encourage clear communication and exchange of information, in order to ensure holidaymakers travelling to hotels in the designated areas enjoy a positive customer experience.’

Travel operator Thomas Cook recently alerted their customers to the crack down on free booze through an email.

They said: ‘Please be advised that a decree has been issued by the Balearic Government on a new restriction for All Inclusive meal option. There is a maximum of six alcoholic drinks per person per day that can be served and these drinks will be provided only during lunch and dinner ( 3 each).

‘Please be aware that Magalluf, El Arenal, Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza, there is new restriction on All Inclusive.’

MailOnline has contacted Love Holidays, which sold the all-inclusive holiday to Mr Walker, for comment.

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