Major travel companies have responded by following a change in the law that will see some Spanish all-inclusive holidays enforce a “six drinks a day” rule.
The change in law is affecting holidays in the Balearic region of Spain and was actually introduced in early 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic many Britons have not been able to travel to the popular party resorts, until now.
The Balearic Regional Government passed a Decree (rule of law) to manage alcohol consumption in central areas of Magaluf, El Arenal, Palma Nova, Playa de Palma and San Antonio Town. As a result, “happy hour”, organized pub crawls, two-for-one drink offers and unlimited alcohol as part of an all-inclusive meal plan have been banned.
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Hotels in the selected areas are required to limit alcoholic drinks included in the all-inclusive to three drinks with lunch and three drinks with dinner. Customers are free to purchase additional drinks if they choose.
It has left some British travelers upset and angry as they arrive for their holidays with a cap on their drinks. The Balearic government has also put a stop to pub crawls, the sale of alcohol in shops between 9.30pm and 8am, and advertising party boats in some areas.
TUI, Thomas Cook, easyJet and Love Holidays have responded to the legislation in a bid to tackle traveller’s confusion over the ‘new’ rules.
TUI have said that any hotels affected by the changes will be highlighted on the website under the board basis details so customers are fully aware of the situation before they book a holiday. TUI also said that as the restrictions only apply to a small area it shouldn’t impact the overall level and quality of service in any of their hotels.
However, some TUI customers are still worried. One customer asked TUI on Twitter about whether the changes will impact their holiday to Magaluf in June, with TUI responding for them to message privately.
Meanwhile, easyJet has said that customers who have a holiday which is being affected by the changes in the Balearic region of Spain can change their booking up to 28 days before departure with their Protection Promise.
Travel agent Thomas Cook issued a warning to customers in email updating them on package holidays. It read: “Please be advised that a decree has been issued by the Balearic Government on a new restriction for All Inclusive meal option. There is a maximum of six alcoholic drinks per person per day that can be served and these drinks will be provided only during lunch and dinner (three each).
“Please be aware that Magaluf, El Arenal, Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza, there is a new restriction on All Inclusive.” They added that their customers have been informed of the rule changes but have not yet responded regarding their cancellation policy.
Love Holidays have said their customers are able to amend their booking to move to a hotel outside of the areas affected by the law up to five days before departure. Customers wishing to cancel can do so online via their Manage My Booking service, and standard cancellation terms apply.
In response to the law possibly affecting holidays which have been booked for celebrations, a Love Holidays spokesperson said: “Love Holidays strongly supports initiatives by resorts and local governments to improve the safety and wellbeing of holiday makers and local residents.
“We advise all customers to familiarize themselves with details of their chosen destination, resort, accommodation, and any local regulations that may affect their enjoyment of their holiday prior to booking.”
Their comments come as The Government of the Balearic Islands, through the Tourism Strategy Agency (AETIB), and in collaboration with the British embassy and consulate, announced in Ibiza the launch of a new edition of their joint campaign to promote the Balearic Islands as a safe destination in the United Kingdom amongst as well as zero tolerance against uncivil behavior this season.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.