PALMA – The authorities in the Balearic Islands have already imposed fines of almost half a million euros for violations in the area of excessive tourism. This mainly concerns excessive alcohol consumption and excesses as a result.
The fines are imposed by the Conselleria de Salud y Consumo (Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs). According to data from this ministry, these fines include a case where a hotel was fined €100,000 for allowing customers free access to self-service alcoholic drinks machines. In addition to the fines for excessive tourism, files have also been opened by the Ministries of Tourism, Commerce and the municipality of Calvià.
Inspection already started
These amounts are significant given that this season’s inspection campaign to tackle excessive tourism in areas such as Platja de Palma, Arenal de Llucmajor and Magaluf has already started.
More than 400,000 euros in fines last year
The proposed fines following checks carried out during the previous year amounted to €438,804. Some of these fines have already been paid by the companies involved. Diario de Mallorca provides an overview of the violations and fines issued for them.
As already mentioned, one of the highest fines was imposed on a hotel that gave customers free access to a self-service alcoholic drinks machine. That was considered a “very serious” violation. However, the affected company has objected to the fine.
Another file with a fine of €60,000 has been opened against a well-known hotel in Platja de Palma, also because of a serious violation. However, in this case, the company in question has already paid the fine.
In addition, two more files have been opened against tobacconists who offered alcoholic beverages as part of a package. That was also considered a “very serious” violation. Here, there was a fine of €60,000.
Furthermore, a bar was fined €66,000 for advertising alcohol, which was also classified as a “very serious” offence.
A café received a pending file with a fine of €60,000 because they did not show their price list.
In addition, various files have been opened for less serious violations, with fines ranging from €600 to €1,000. In two cases, the companies involved paid the fine and bought off these files to close the business.
Platja de Palma is the main problem area
The majority of these files concern companies in Platja de Palma. This is because the municipality of Calvià has now taken responsibility for tackling excesses in this area. The ministry does admit that there have been few cases in Arenal de Llucmajor due to the limited cooperation of the municipality. Moreover, something similar applies to Ibiza, where the island government does not cooperate.
The Minister of Consumer Affairs emphasises that in the past both bodies were governed by the PP (Partido Popular). Although he appreciates the work of the municipality of Calvià, he does not think it is right to place the control of tourist excesses in the hands of municipal authorities. The entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry would have too much influence on the municipal authorities for that. As a result, civil servants are more vulnerable to pressure from stakeholders.
The goal: to combat excessive tourism
The Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs is determined to act against excessive tourism and its associated problems. They want to ensure that tourism companies comply with the rules through stricter checks and fines. Moreover, this is mainly about protecting the well-being of both tourists and local communities.