Published On: Tue, Feb 28th, 2023

Spain’s crackdown on ‘budget British tourists’ causing issues for locals | Travel News | Travel

Parts of Spain are attempting to rebrand and in doing so, they are “not interested in having budget tourists from the UK” visiting for a holiday. But the country’s move to entice visitors from France, Italy and Holland to visit the Balearic Islands left some local businesses suffering to make ends meet.

Towards the end of last year, Spain publicly snubbed British tourists in search of “upmarket” holidaymakers. 

The director of tourism for Mallorca, Lucia Escribano, said her industry chiefs “are not interested in having budget tourists from the UK”, adding she wanted the island to rebrand itself and stop being a destination for cheap drinks and beach parties. 

As a result, the number of UK tourists allowed to visit each year will be limited. Last year, 16,475,579 holidaymakers arrived in the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Cabrera), which will be the maximum in the future.

Instead, tourists from France, Italy and Holland are being encouraged to take holidays in Spain.

READ MORE: Latest travel rules for tourists heading to Turkey

But this move is causing misery for residents in Mallorca and Ibiza, some of which are living in vans because they are unable to afford soaring rental prices. 

Locals from the Balearic Islands have spoken out about their struggle to “survive”, saying they are not able to rent or buy properties due to increasing prices that are a result of the country trying to target upscale tourists from France, Italy and Holland, who can afford more expensive properties. 

Rona Pineda, 32, owns a restaurant located near Palma de Mallorca’s harbour, it serves paella and Asian dishes for tourists. 

She also shares a two-bedroom apartment with a couple in Mallorca and told Bloomberg how local “people are looking at how to survive”. 

Kate’s style mistake proves she’s ‘mastered the art of fashion’ [COMMENT]
Cook a whole Sunday roast without using an oven – three methods [CHEF TIPS]
Iceland to permanently close six stores – full list of locations [NEWS]

Rona said even if you “have a normal salary, it’s very difficult to find a place to live nowadays”, with some locals in Mallorca and Ibiza living in camper vans as a result. 

Matias Vidal, director of the real estate agency Inmovisa in Mallorca said “more and more people are moving into campers”. 

While it’s “still a minority” it’s an “increasing trend” that wasn’t around a few years ago. 

Matias has been selling properties in Mallorca for decades and explained how “foreigners have more money available usually and they don’t look so carefully for bargains so that makes prices skyrocket”. 

READ MORE: Cruise guests share best ‘hidden spots’ on board for stargazing

Bloomberg said 36 percent of properties sold in Mallorca and its neighbouring islands in the fourth quarter of 2022 were bought by people from outside Spain.

Another way Spain is trying to encourage tourists from France, Italy and Holland to take holidays in Spain is by offering more luxurious resorts. 

Ibiza, which is also trying to change its party-destination image, has had ten five-star hotels built since 2018. 

But with new resorts comes new job vacancies, and the thousands of new staff need somewhere to live, and this is driving the demand for housing further, making it even more difficult for locals. 

Lanzarote is another Spanish island said to be fed up with British tourists. 

Last year, 2.5 million Brits jetting to Lanzarote to enjoy its year-round sun, beautiful beaches and stunning volcanic landscape. 

But Island leaders revealed a new strategy which focuses on becoming less dependent on British tourists who currently account for more than half of holiday numbers.

Source link