Holiday hotspot Magaluf 'half empty' days after anti-tourism protests

People arrive at Magaluf beach
-Credit: (Image: Clara Margais/Getty Images)

A beloved Spanish holiday destination, popular with UK tourists, was reportedly 'half empty' this Bank Holiday Monday, sparking worry among local bar and restaurant owners. Magaluf, one of Majorca's busiest holiday resorts, is usually teeming with holidaymakers by the start of June.

However, photos taken on May 27 revealed deserted sunbeds on the town's beaches and rows of unoccupied tables outside bars. This comes just days after demonstrators marched through Majorca's capital, Palma, demanding 'immediate measures' from the government to address the island's housing crisis and tourist overcrowding.

The local newspaper, Majorca Daily Bulletin, voiced concerns that Magaluf seemed 'unusually quiet' on Monday, suggesting it was 'half empty if that'. The paper reported a sense of unease among business owners about the lack of tourists, while others maintained that it was still bustling at the weekends.

One pub owner hinted that the anti-tourism protesters' 'wishes had been granted', with the onset of the peak holiday season in June now just around the corner. Following a large gathering in Palma on Saturday, the organisers of the protest warned that they would persist in their demonstrations until the Balearic government takes action.

One of the protest leaders, Javier Barbero, voiced his concerns to the news outfit: "This has only just begun. If the reality is denied and still no measures are taken, we will take to the streets until they act.", reports Birmingham Live.

Despite their strong stance, Barbero clarified that the group was not 'saying no to tourism', but suggested: "We have to rethink the tourism model."

The protesters have made demands to the local authorities to control the acceleration of rental costs in the area, a proposal that Balearic president, Marga Prohens, refuses to entertain. Additionally, the group urges the administration to enact a new policy - any newcomer who wants to buy property on the island must first be a resident for half a decade.

Tourism sector contributes around 45 per cent to the islands' revenue, according to figures released by Exceltur. The protests have stirred some brit holidaymakers to avoid the region, with one steady visitor saying online: "They should be careful what they wish for."

Another traveller added: "Stop going to Spain for 12 months and they will be begging us to come back."

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