Jason Walker, 42, from Blackburn in Lancashire, assumed he could eat and drink as much as he wanted when shopping for his all-inclusive trip to Mallorca – but was left “angry” and ” upset” to find that the authorities had limited tourists in some resorts. six alcoholic drinks a day
A rise in alcohol use disorders caused by drunken Brits has forced Spanish authorities to limit alcohol sales to just six a day on islands like Ibiza and Mallorca, a travel expert has said.
The controversial rule was rolled out in January but is only now attracting tourists heading to the islands as the weather getting better – some feel their trip was ruined by the edge of cheapness booze.
Jason Walker, 42, who flew on an all-inclusive trip to Mallorca for his cousin’s birthday last week, says the rule left him ‘angry’ and ‘upset’ – and had to spend extra money accordingly.
As it stands, visitors are limited to three drinks with their meal – and will be forced to pay the going rate for beers, wine and spirits if they want more than their meager three-drink allowance.
But a travel expert believes it is rowdy British holidaymakers who are to blame for the draconian measures.
Eoghan Corry, travel editor for the Sunday Irish Mirrorsays the rule is the Spanish police’s attempt to curb the alcohol-fueled chaos on the popular islands.
Courtesy of Jason Walker/SWNS)
He said: “This has been an uncontrollable problem at all-inclusive resorts for many years. What happened was that a small number came to try to get drunk.
“It’s usually not the cost they look at, it’s the mess that can result.”
Jason claims he was not told of the rule when he paid £240 for his three-night trip with tour operator Love Holiday.
He mistakenly assumed that the all-inclusive fee entitled him to as much food and drink as he wanted.
But when the security guard arrived on the beautiful Mediterranean island, he was stunned to find there were limits to his free drinking.
Travel expert Eoghan said the rule ‘should have been better flagged’, but he’s not surprised it’s not due to the changing nature of all-inclusive holidays in Europe.
He added: ‘This should have been better reported, but you have to remember that it’s at the cheaper end of the all-inclusive business that you find this. It’s not really high end.
“All-inclusive is controversial anyway because the tourist boards don’t like it because it keeps people in resort and doesn’t get them out to local hotels and bars.
“Certainly in Europe, all-inclusive is becoming less and less of a thing.”
Spanish authorities first announced the new law in January, but it has surprised hundreds of British holidaymakers now arriving on the islands.
Jason urges holidaymakers to visit similar Spanish resorts over the summer to check their fine print or face steep drinks charges without warning.
He said: “We only found out when we arrived and only budgeted so much because we thought all our food and drink would be covered.
“We were very upset and angry.
“We came as a family of eight to celebrate my cousin’s 40th birthday and although we still had a great time, we incurred additional costs as a result.”
Courtesy of Jason Walker/SWNS)
Local authorities in Spain introduced an alcohol ban in January this year, which affects some resort areas in the Balearic Islands, including Palma, Ibiza and Magaluf.
The new law – which states that ‘alcoholic beverages will be limited to six a day’ – is part of a package of measures aimed at cracking down on anti-social behaviour.
These would also include bans on pub crawls, happy hours and two-for-one drink deals, all of which are enforced by hefty fines.
Jason, from Blackburn, Lancs., said he understands the government is trying to stop yobbish drinking behavior, but he thinks the new rules need to be better advertised.
He said: “I understand they are trying to curb alcohol abuse and rowdy behavior but I think it was done in a very underhanded way – I wasn’t told and didn’t know not the law.
“We’re also here with family and the all-inclusive is great for families as you don’t have to worry about the budget for food and drink.”
Jason called on tour operators to give holidaymakers more information about how their trips could be affected by the draconian laws.
He also thinks vacations where a three-drink-per-meal rule is in place are mislabeled and shouldn’t be called “all-inclusive.”
He said: “I’ve looked at the fine print and the booze rule is there so I don’t think it should be sold as an all inclusive holiday, it should be sold as half board or something like this. lines .
“If you are booking an all-inclusive holiday I recommend looking at the fine print and seeing what is actually included and what is not as the rules have changed.”
Holidaymakers writing on social media have reacted furiously to the new laws, which many say have not been widely publicized.
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A Twitter the user believed that inclusive holidays with alcohol limits should be marketed as “half board” – and called for hotel contracts where this was not clearly stated to be torn up.
He said: “Britons will now be limited to just six drinks a day, which can only be consumed with their lunch and dinner – offering them just three drinks per meal.”
“[That’s] usually referred to as “Half Board Plus”. It is time to cancel the hotel contracts for the All Inclusive formula.”
A spokesperson for ABTA – The Travel Association said the rules could cause “confusion” among holidaymakers.
They said: “ABTA strongly supports initiatives that improve the health and safety of holidaymakers, as well as the well-being of local communities.
“Some of the measures introduced by authorities in the Balearic Islands to limit anti-social behavior may confuse British holidaymakers.
“We welcome the recent clarifications from the authorities, in particular that the restrictions will only apply to certain limited areas of Mallorca and Ibiza rather than the whole of the Balearic Islands as originally proposed.
“ABTA will continue to engage with the Government of the Balearic Islands, ABTA members and other parties, to encourage clear communication and information exchange, to ensure that holidaymakers traveling to hotels designated areas enjoy a positive customer experience.”
Tour operator Thomas Cook recently alerted customers to the free booze crackdown via email.
They said: “Please note that a decree has been issued by the Balearic government on a new restriction for the 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 (3 each).
“Please note that Magalluf, El Arenal, Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza, there is a new restriction on All Inclusive.”
Love Holidays, which sold the all-inclusive vacation to Jason, has been approached for comment.