Spain's Balearic Islands crack down on alcohol-fuelled holidays

The Magaluf holiday resort has gained a reputation for heavy drinking among young tourists from Britain and elsewhere

Spain's Balearic Islands passed a bill Friday aimed at clamping down on alcohol-fuelled holidays in the Mediterranean archipelago which bans happy hours when drinks are offered a discount and open bars.

"This is the first law adopted in Europe which restricts the sale and promotion of alcohol in certain touristic areas," the regional government of the Balearic Islands which have long been a magnet for young German and British tourists, who often drink heavily and enjoy rowdy late-night clubbing.

The restrictions will apply to three areas with a reputation for excess: San Antoni on the island of Ibiza and El Arenal and Magaluf -- which has been nicknamed "Shagaluf" because of its reputation for drunken casual sex -- on Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic's four islands.

The law, which was drawn up in consultation with the tourism industry also bans pub crawls and two-for-one drink offers, prohibits the sale of alcohol in shops between 9:30 pm and 8 am and forbids advertising party boats in the designated areas.

Establishments that break the new rules risk fines of up to 600,000 euros ($669,000) and the threat of being closed down for three years.

The new law also takes aim at the so-called "balconing" craze, the term given to holidaymakers who decide to jump into a swimming pool from a hotel or apartment balcony, a stunt which claims several lives every year.

It bans "balconing" across the entire archipelago and requires hotels to evict anyone who does it. Those caught jumping from balconies face fines of up to 60,000 euros ($67,000).

Up until now only some resorts on the Balearics imposed fines for "balconing".

The regional government of the Balearics said the law, which stiffens measures already introduced in 2015, will "fight excesses in certain tourist zones" and "force a real change in the tourism model of those destinations".

Magaluf made global headlines in 2014 after a video showing a young woman performing oral sex on several men on the dance floor of a nightclub went viral.

Local shops sell souvenir T-shirts with the catchphrase "On it 'till we vomit".

The four islands which make up the Balearics -- Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera, received nearly fourteen million tourists in 2018, drawn by their crystal clear waters, and in many cases by all-inconclusive package holidays.

The archipelago is Spain's second most visited region. Spain is the world's second most visited country after France.

The Magaluf holiday resort has gained a reputation for heavy drinking among young tourists from Britain and elsewhere