Spain's Magaluf 'half empty' as bar owners worry 'wishes of anti-tourism protesters granted'

People arrive at Magaluf beach on July 30, 2020 in Mallorca, Spain
-Credit: (Image: Clara Margais/Getty Images)

A Spanish holiday hotspot adored by UK tourists was 'half empty' this Bank Holiday Monday, leading to concerns from local bar and restaurant owners. Magaluf, one of Majorca's most bustling holiday resorts, is usually teeming with holidaymakers by the start of June.

However, photographs taken on May 27 depicted 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 the government to take 'immediate measures' 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, stating it was "half empty if that". It reported a sense of unease among business owners about the scarcity of tourists, while others maintained it was still bustling during the weekends.

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Magaluf is renowned for its lively nightlife, but the popular tourist destination could come under threat following a drop in visitors
Magaluf is renowned for its lively nightlife, but the popular tourist destination could come under threat following a drop in visitors -Credit:Getty

One bar owner implied that the anti-tourism protesters' "wishes had been granted", with the onset of the peak holiday season in June now merely days away. Following the gathering of thousands in Palma on Saturday, organisers of the protest warned they would persist in their demonstrations until the Balearic government takes action.

One of the protest leaders, Javier Barbero, spoke to the press, saying: "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.

He clarified that their stance was not anti-tourism, but stressed: "We have to rethink the tourism model."

The demonstrators are urging the local government to cap the soaring rental prices a move that Balearic president Marga Prohens has openly refused to consider. They're also pushing for a regulation requiring individuals to reside in Majorca for a minimum of five years before they can purchase property there.

Tourism accounts for 45 per cent of the islands' revenue, as reported by Exceltur. The ongoing protests have prompted some British tourists to consider boycotting the destination, with one frequent visitor commenting online: "They should be careful what they wish for."

Meanwhile, another holidaymaker remarked: "Stop going to Spain for 12 months and they will be begging us to come back."