Sat. Jun 15th, 2024
alert-–-majorca-bites-the-hand-that-feeds-it:-magaluf-businesses-‘are-concerned-about-the-lack-of-holidaymakers’-and-fear-it-is-‘a-bit-too-quiet’-as-the-resort-is-left-half-empty-following-weeks-of-anti-tourism-protestsAlert – Majorca bites the hand that feeds it: Magaluf businesses ‘are concerned about the lack of holidaymakers’ and fear it is ‘a bit too quiet’ as the resort is left half-empty following weeks of anti-tourism protests

Businesses in Magaluf have sounded the alarm over a lack of holidaymakers in the party city in the lead-up to the holiday season after weeks of anti-tourism protests. 

Photos show that Magaluf, one of Majorca’s busiest cities, is still half-empty – days before tourists are meant to be flooding its streets, bringing with them much-needed spending money that is vital for the local economy. 

The Majorca Daily Bulletin reported that businesses are now anxious about whether enough tourists will come to the island. 

Some said that the busy holiday season hasn’t yet started, and that some insist the city is busy at the weekends.

But many have blamed the surge in anti-tourism protests the island has seen in recent weeks, in which angry demonstrators have told tourists to ‘go home’.

Over the weekend, thousands of furious Majorcans took to the streets to protest mass tourism and gentrification. 

They said that they were being priced out of their homes, and being treated as second-class citizens in their own island. 

As one bar owner suggested: ‘Their wishes have been granted.’ 

Local governments on the island appear to be backing the protestors, with the Balearic government approving the power for tourism inspectors to physically seal off illegal lets.

The government also said it wants local police forces to be involved in the work of inspecting properties. 

Photos from Magaluf show the city is currently a ghost town. 

Swathes of white sand, normally covered by towels, bags and beach bodies, can be seen reflecting the bright Spanish sun. 

Rows of deckchairs, which vendors can rent out for up to £60 a day, sit empty, with only the odd Majorcan resident using the facilities. Many of them lay on their side, in a state of disuse rarely seen in the run-up to the summer.  

Meanwhile, locals appear to be happy lying on the public beach for free, refusing to pay businesses often-extortionate prices to use their leisure facilities.

In fact, some appeared to be happy using the beach umbrellas attached to them for free, with one image showing a young woman sitting in the shaded sand underneath one, having seemingly not paid to rent it. 

Pictures of cafes, bars and restaurants surrounding Magaluf Beach tell a similar tale, with few patrons and even fewer waiters and waitresses serving a handful of items, mostly drinks. 

Even the paths that run alongside the beaches in Magaluf, best known for its vibrant nightlife that almost exclusively serves tourists, are all but empty. 

One photo showed at most a dozen people meandering down a long stretch of the beach. 

The photos showing Magaluf as a ghost town come as protestors began to make preparations to Majorca’s beaches in a new stand over mass tourism to ‘squeeze’ out foreign tourists.

Organisers of Saturday’s march in Palma involving around 15,000 people, in which some foreign holidaymakers were heckled, promised afterwards: ‘This is just the start of things.’

And today a group calling itself Mallorca Platja Tour – Majorca Beach Tour in Catalan – started an online campaign urging locals to ‘occupy’ the island’s beaches.

A first meeting is being organised for this Saturday to promote a ‘big event’ on June 16 with the slogan: ‘We fill the beach with Majorcans.’

The latest campaign appears to have been triggered by the comments of Manuela Canadas, spokesman for far-right wing party Vox in the Balearic Islands’ regional parliament.

She responded to Saturday’s protest by saying: ‘I understand the discontent but us Mallorcans, who live directly or indirectly from tourism, cannot expect to go to the beach in July and August like we did years ago.’

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