The Association of British Travel Agents have called on the Balearic Government to abandon its new regulations effectively banning the traditional all-inclusive holiday format.
The controversial new regulations that the Balearic Government proclaim as making the region ‘pioneers in Europe’, state that the maximum number of drinks that can be included in a hotel tariff are six per day, specifically three served during lunch and three during dinner. The move is stated as an effort to curb drunkenness in what is termed ‘tourism of excess’. This will mean an end to the self service alcohol typical in all inclusive hotel restaurants, and also an end to open bars.
Those opposing the ban are fearful that the Balearics’ restrictions risk losing business to more liberal destinations with those looking for the all inclusive tariff simply crossing the Balearics off their list of holiday options.
The Ibiza and Formentera association of hoteliers have already spoken out in opposition of the new regulations, though some small local businesses may welcome the move as in areas such as Cala Llonga where all hotels are all inclusive, the local traders have had to work hard to encourage guests to leave the hotels and take some business into the local area.
The Balearic Government have stuck to their guns thus far, however, ABTA have now made their view clear in opposition, and have spoken out in what the UK press are calling a demand for the regulations to be scrapped. We can find nothing to justify such strong language, but ABTA are certainly keen for the Balearic Government to turn away from the restriction.
A spokesman for ABTA said: “The Balearic Islands and the destinations of Magaluf and San Antonio are very popular with British holidaymakers. While we strongly support initiatives that improve the health and safety of holidaymakers, as well as the welfare of local communities, such as encouraging bar owners to take a more responsible approach to the sale of alcohol and campaigning for balcony safety among young holidaymakers, we believe some of the measures announced in relation to addressing unsociable behaviour, for example targeting all-inclusive holidays, are misdirected.
“The vast majority of holidaymakers on all-inclusives are couples and families, so it is difficult to see how imposing strict rules on this type of arrangement will fix the problem of anti-social behaviour in resort. We would encourage the Balearic authorities to reconsider this.
“It’s also important to highlight that the limits on drinks does not apply to all-inclusive holidays that have already been booked in these resorts.”