"As early as 2 p.m. I often see drunk holidaymakers desperately looking for their hotel with their mobile phones in their hands," says Gerlinde Weininger, landlady of the cult restaurant "Münchner Kindl" on Playa de Palma. So-called drinking tourism is nothing new in Majorca - but this year the situation at the notorious Ballermann seems to be worse than ever before well before the start of the main season on July 1st.
That is why interest groups in the party mile in the south of the Spanish Mediterranean island have raised the alarm these days. The hoteliers' association AHPP, the gastro association CAEB and the nightclub association ABONE denounced in a joint appeal what is now an "unsustainable" and "alarming" situation. "That's enough!" They say, and demand tougher penalties, more police presence and more controls from the authorities. The residents' association of the S'Arenal district, to which Ballermann belongs, has also complained about the increasingly poor behavior of many foreign tourists these days.
This year's run on the island began in spring with the opening parties of the big discotheques, including at Ballermann, the German holiday hotspot par excellence. The popular party mile is currently bursting at the seams. As early as April, almost 1.5 million visitors from abroad and the Spanish mainland came to the Balearic Islands, surpassing the previous record for this month (a good 1.3 million in 2019). Almost 40 percent of foreign tourists came from Germany.
Not only the local residents and the bar operators, but also less vocal visitors get upset about the tourists, who can no longer control themselves in the intoxication. Again and again, new rules of conduct and laws were enacted in Majorca, a "quality offensive" was started years ago, but the Ballermann is unstoppable.
Officially, Playa de Palma is one of the zones in which special rules of conduct apply in Majorca in summer. They are intended to limit alcohol consumption by, for example, regulating sales and prohibiting advertising. "It is to be expected that this year we will face the same problems that the season brings," says José Antonio Fernández de Alarcón, head of the Playa de Palma hoteliers' association, who is already positioning himself to address the missteps to bring to the display.
On the other hand, "Bierkönig" DJ Aaron Müller calls for a sure instinct. "The Ballermann stands for freedom. In a way, it's part of misbehaving." It's no different on German party miles, says the 38-year-old from Idar-Oberstein. "99 percent of vacationers behave well under the circumstances." The question arises as to where the line is drawn between good and bad behavior. "Personally, it doesn't bother me when people yell on the street," says Müller. Some may see it differently.
Of course, the overall picture also includes the fact that the party vacationers flush a lot of money into the island coffers. Therefore, the shops in the area adapt to the needs. "A jewelry or shoe shop isn't worth it here. Even the perfumery at Ballermann now sells canned beer," says Weininger. However, the landlady regrets that the cash register does not ring for everyone. "There are actually only three places that benefit from the party: Megapark, Bierkönig and Oberbayern." Holidaymakers rarely go out to eat well at Playa de Palma. "They usually drop out of the disco and go to the kebab stand or the bratwurst stand across the street," says Weininger.
This may also be due to the prices. Inflation did not avoid Mallorca either. "It's gotten damn expensive," says Kevin Kirchheim. "Under 200 euros per night is no longer possible in the 4- to 5-star area (in a hotel) with half board." However, the vacationer from Velbert does not want to miss out on his vacation. "Then I'd rather save on other corners at home."
Others even do without a bed. More and more visitors, especially from Germany and the Netherlands, are staying overnight on the beach, complains the vice president of the S'Arenal residents' association, Alain Carbonell. "The 18 to 20-year-olds only come to get drunk." The situation is "unsustainable," he said in an interview with the newspaper "Última Hora". The paper wrote that the locals were "afraid" of the approaching summer.
Rebecca from Stuttgart is staying with friends. That's why she noticed the higher flight prices in particular. "I had to pay 25 euros each way for hand luggage alone." She spent a total of 220 for a return flight. It used to be less than 100 euros. "The prices in the supermarket have risen like in Germany." The Swabian loves to be on the beach in Colònia de Sant Jordi in the southeast of the island. Although she doesn't drink alcohol, she has no problem with Ballermann. "I also listen to the music at work. But there have to be other sober people at the party. Otherwise I'll have to play mum for all the drunks."