Calvia.—The summer season is underway and the Calvia resorts are set to welcome visitor numbers not seen since the start of the pandemic. But sadly there is only one resort which journalists want to talk about and that is Magalluf.
Since coming to power seven years ago, Calvia Mayor Alfonso Rodriguez, has presided over a big change in Magalluf. Massive amounts of investment has changed the face of the resort which is slowly shedding its infamous party-town image. The final piece of the jigsaw will be put in place this summer with the Balearic government’s so-called law of excesses which curbs the sale of alcohol in hotels, bars and shops. Pub crawls and 2 for 1 offers are over.
“We want tourists to enjoy themselves, discover Calvia and all that it offers but we want them to behave. Rowdy behaviour will not be tolerated,” said Rodriguez in an interview with the Bulletin.
“Alcohol shouldn’t be the main focus of a holiday. We have so much more to offer from fantastic beaches to great countryside.”
More sceptical readers will say that they have heard it all before. But not this time. The Balearic government and the Calvia council are adamant that the party, for those who misbehave, is over. The Mayor said that the Calvia council will also penalise those who break the rules in the Law of Excesses underlining their support for this Balearic government flagship policy which is being introduced in Magalluf, the Playa de Palma and San Antonio in Ibiza. The council is not only banning bad behaviour in Magalluf they are also spending the cash. Rodriguez said that 12 million euros, some of it raised through the tourist tax, would be spent on giving Magalluf a new promenade.
“Work will start this winter. The funding is already there we are just waiting for the final green light,” he said. The investment is not only on the so-called first line it will also spread to adjacent streets. This is added to the millions of euros which has already been invested in Magalluf by both the private and public sector including a massive cash injection by the Melia Group.
“We are seeing families returning to Magalluf,” said Rodriguez who is convinced that there is light at the end of the tunnel in the changing face of Magalluf. The resort often finds itself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons from people who have probably never visited. “It is like commenting on a film which you have never seen,” the Mayor said.
One in four tourists who visit Calvia are British and 50 percent of all tourists who go to Magalluf are from the United Kingdom. The Mayor said that they were working closely with the British Foreign Office, who have recently launched a public awareness campaign in Britain about the dangers of excessive drinking while on holiday. Rodriguez said that he had met with British ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott and British Consul General, Lloyd Milen to discuss the forthcoming season. “We enjoy a close relationship,” he said.
The Balearics and Calvia included, have in some ways, been a victim of their own success. The cost of living has risen. The Mayor said that he was concerned that high property prices meant that there wasn’t enough affordable housing for young people wanting to get on the property ladder.
Rodriguez said that the council had embarked on a social housing plan, in a ground breaking scheme, so that young people could afford a home. He is obviously very proud of this scheme with Calvia being one of the few areas in Spain to introduce such a programme. Calvia is not only Britain’s favourite holiday destination it is also home to thousands of British residents.
“It is true that since Brexit we have noticed a decline in the number of British residents,” he said, but he underlined the fact that they wanted to make them feel as at home as possible. The Calvia council confirmed yesterday that British citizens would be able to vote in the forthcoming local elections.