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Balearics: New legislation to address excesses derived from alcohol abuse

Posted: 20/01/20 by Explorer Travel Holidays

The Baleric Island Government approves first European Bill to address excesses derived from alcohol abuse in tourism areas.

  • Prohibits jumping between balconies, excursions promoting excessive consumption of alcohol, and the sale of alcohol at a global price, amongst other elements
  • The suspension of any new licenses for party boats and establishing limitations on activity in certain areas
  • The regulations are limited o three areas (Arenal and Magaluf and the West End of Sant Antonio) for a period of five years
  • The penalty-based-system includes fines of up to 600,000 euros and suspension of activity for up to three years
  • The rule will respect the contracts already signed between tour operators and hoteliers to prevent any legal or contractual issues

The Balearic islands government has approved a Decree Law to combat alcohol excess in certain tourist areas, with the aim of forcing real change in the tourism model oft these destinations; promoting responsible conduct, adopting measures to protect the destination and avoiding issues derived from excessive alcohol consumption in certain places of the Balearic Islands. This is the first standard adopted throughout Europe, which restricts the promotion and sale of alcohol in certain tourist areas.This new law aims to position the Balearic Islands as a pioneer destination in combating excesses in tourism with a standard that meets the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Balearic Agenda. The law aims to create a more sustainable and respectful tourism model, in terms of the environment, the quality of life for residents and the visitor experience. The creation of this new bill is in the public interest and has come about following extensive dialogue. In recent times, efforts to positively promote the destination, create a better quality experience - via both public and private investments - and position the destination in an increasingly competitive and global market have been negatively impacted due to issues of unsociable behaviour often related to alcohol abuse in certain tourist areas of Mallorca and Ibiza. With this new law defended and requested by institutions, social enterprises, businesses and employers, the government provides the necessary tools to combat the issue and reverse any negative impact. With the objective of promoting tourism activity, improving competitiveness and ending situations that generate discomfort and impact the image of the destination, this law fulfils the commitment set out in the Government Agreements at the beginning of the legislature.In order to monitor and ensure coordination of the measures adopted in this decree, a commission and a sub-commission will be created for the promotion of responsible conduct in tourism areas. The commission will be formed by government representatives as well as a subcommittee made up of employers and business and neighbourhood associations.

The decree law will be valid for a period of five years, with its territorial scope bring limited to specific areas of Playa de Palma, El Arenal, Magaluf and the West End of Sant Antoni de Portmany, and will cover five main areas of action with the objective of avoiding the degradation of certain tourist areas of the Balearic Islands. The rule will respect the contracts already signed between tour operators and hoteliers to prevent any legal or contractual issues.


From now on, advertising that aims to encourage alcohol consumption in tourism establishments, as well as open-bars, happy hours or similar, will be prohibited. Self-service dispensers or off-licenses that sell alcohol must remain closed between 9.30pm and 08.00am.

In all-inclusive properties within previously specified areas, alcoholic drinks will be limited to six per day (three during the lunch timetable and three during the evening timetable).

Dangerous health practices such as jumping from balconies

Dangerous practices that put people at risk will be prohibited throughout the whole of the Balearic Islands and not just within the territorial scope of this decree law.

People who, despite this law, carry out these practices, will be expelled immediately from the establishment and the action will be treated as a serious offence, both for those who practice it and for those who allow it.

Pub-crawl excursions

The organisation, advertising and sale of pub-crawl excursions and/or ‘alcohol routes’ are prohibited in the areas outlined in this bill.

Party boats

The prohibition of advertising party boats in the areas impacted by this bill. Additionally, these kinds of excursions will be banned from picking up or returning customers in these areas. The granting of new licenses will be suspended, and regulation will be initiated for a period of 24 months.

Sanction regime

Finally, the law establishes a sanction regime that places a special emphasis on serious and very serious offences for tourists and venues/establishments. Dangerous practices that pose a risk or question the integrity or health of the individual are considered serious offences (for the tourist), as well as a lack of information expressly to customers about risks (for venues); the non-expulsion of clients who carry out dangerous practices (for venues/establishments); offer rooms on an hourly basis, advertise alcoholic beverages amongst other aspects.

Serious offences are penalised with fines of between 6,001 to 60,000 euros. Very serious offences include the sale of alcoholic beverages after hours allowed; offer alcoholic beverages in open bars, happy hours or 2x1 and 3x1 offers; keep alcohol dispensers; sell alcohol to minors; advertise or conduct pub-crawls/ alcohol excursions or commit two serious offences in six months, amongst other circumstances.

Very serious offences are sanctioned with fines of between 60,001 to 600,000 euros and can additionally lead to the closure of the establishment for a maximum period of three years, depending on the circumstances.

Any other offence outlined in this decree, will impose a fine of between 1,000 and 6,000 euros and will be considered a minor offence.

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