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Spanish party resort Magaluf is targeting the family market following a ‘“surprisingly successful” crackdown on pub crawls and antisocial behaviour.
In 2014, following a string of alcohol-fuelled incidents involving holidaymakers, local authorities introduced legislation forcing companies to apply for a licence to hold pub crawls. Drinking in the street was banned between 10pm and 8am.
The action has not only reduced drunken behaviour, but also changed the mix of tourists, according to Alfonso Rodriguez Badal, mayor of Calvia, the region which includes Magaluf and Palma Nova.
A multi-million pound five-year plan to transform Magaluf into a resort to attract wealthy British holidaymakers is being unveiled today.
A consortium of ten British, Spanish and other hotel and leisure companies are behind the plans to shed the notorious ‘Shagaluf’ image of the destination.
During a trip to the UK to promote the region to families and special-interest groups, he revealed that antisocial behaviour in Magaluf had fallen by 18% this summer, compared with 2014, while the number of arrests was down 50%.
“We didn’t think it would be so successful so quickly,” said Rodriguez Badal. “It’s been a pleasant surprise.”
He credited the clampdown’s success on support from bars, as well as tourists respecting the rules, which police were enforcing through warnings and fines.
The resort has also reported a 3.4% rise in the number of families and 3% more couples visiting this summer. The number of tourists aged under 25, however, fell 3.6% compared with last year.
Rodriguez Badal said he hoped this trend would continue as more investment was made to adapt to the needs of the family market. In the past three years, €240 million has been spent on upgrading hotels and streets in Magaluf and Palma Nova.
“Change is already happening,” said Rodriguez Badal. “Before, party tourism was spilling over into the day and families were retrenching. Now they are returning. Our main target is the family market.”
The Spanish Tourist Office plans more fam trips as the destination shifts its focus to the family market, as well as promoting itself for sports and nature breaks during the shoulder seasons.
Calvía council, which includes Magaluf, and the Balearic government, are determined to change the image of a resort to which attracts hundreds of thousands of Britons a year.
Mallorca Rocks is part of the group of leisure companies that also includes Meliá International Hotels, Fergus Hotels, Viva & Vanity Hotels, Cursach Hotels, Western Water Park and Pirates, an entertainment company.
“The idea is to change Magaluf into a new type of resort which is popular with families and those in a higher income group,” a source close to the project told The Times.
“We want to move away from twentysomething revellers or school leavers and instead attract better-off people in their thirties or families. We want to lose the image of the place people call ‘Shagaluf’.”
The companies involved will increase the number of four-star hotels and raise the price of overnight stays. A series of upmarket restaurants and luxury bars will open.
The plan is based on how the South Beach area of Miami and Barcelona were transformed to attract a higher-earning demographic of tourists.
Under new rules imposed this summer, drinking is banned in the streets between 12pm and 8am. Only one pub crawl a night can be organised by each bar or company and the organisers have to obtain permission from the authorities a week before they take place. Only officially approved guides are allowed to lead drinkers on the pub crawls.
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