Spain's Magaluf and Ibiza crack down on alcohol holidays

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Tourists walk on Punta Ballena street in Magaluf, on the Balearic Island of Mallorca, on June 13, 2015.Image copyright
Reuters

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Magaluf is a popular destination for young tourists

The Balearic Islands of Spain have passed a law that prohibits tracking bars and happy hours in three popular tourist destinations, in an attempt to suppress alcohol-fueled holidays.

Restrictions apply to the sights of Playa de Palma and Magaluf in Majorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza.

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The regional government said it was the first law of its kind in Europe.

Ibiza and Mallorca are magnets for young British, German and Irish tourists.

The measures adopted on Friday are just the latest effort by authorities to try to curb excessive alcohol consumption on the Mediterranean islands.

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But some traders say the move could hurt small businesses.

What are the new measures?

The new law includes a series of measures aimed at suppressing the so-called "drink tourism", where visitors are encouraged to drink too much.

Organized pub crawls can no longer be advertised or performed in Playa de Palma, Magaluf or Ibiza's West End.

The law also prohibits happy hours and says party boats can no longer advertise in the three areas or take or leave tourists there.

Liquor vending machines, free bars and liquor ads are also banned, while authorities say stores selling alcohol must close from 9:30 pm to 8:00 am (8:30 pm to 7:00 am GMT).

The new regulations have also banned "balconies", where people jump from hotel balconies, usually to swimming pools. The practice has been linked to several deaths and injuries to tourists. Authorities said those caught taking part in the activity would now be forced to leave the hotel and could face fines.

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Media CaptionMagaluf balcony death mother warns of danger fall

Local businesses caught violating the new law can face fines of up to € 600,000 (£ 510,000) or be closed for up to three years.

The regional government said the law was the first in Europe to restrict the promotion and sale of alcohol in certain tourist areas.

He said the new measures "would combat excesses" and "would force a real change in the tourism model of these destinations".

But some complained that the law would hurt the local economy.

"I think this is exaggerated and disproportionate," Jose Tirado, president of the Mallorca Tourism and Business Association, told Spanish state television.

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