Spanish holiday hotspot loved by UK tourists is 'half-empty' after protests

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 holidaymakers was 'half empty' this Bank Holiday Monday, leading to worries among local bar and restaurant owners. Magaluf, one of Majorca's most bustling holiday resorts, is usually teeming with tourists by the beginning of June.

However, photos taken on 27 May showed deserted sun loungers 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 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 some unease among business owners about the lack of tourists, while others maintained it was still bustling at weekends.

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

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One pub owner suggested that the wishes of anti-tourism protesters "had been granted", with the start of the peak holiday season in June now just around the corner. Following thousands of people gathering in Palma on Saturday, organisers of the protest warned they would continue to hit the streets until the Balearic government takes action.

Javier Barbero, one of the organisers, stated to the publication: "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 also explained that they weren't opposing tourism as such, but stating: "We have to rethink the tourism model."

The demonstrators have urged local authorities to restrict the climbing rents in the region, a measure that Marga Prohens, the Balearic president declared she won't adopt. Additionally, they demand a new regulation that dictates anyone purchasing property on Majorca to have resided in the region for at least a five-year span.

According to Exceltur statistics, tourism accounts for 45 per cent of the islands' revenue. The protests have prompted some British tourists to avoid the area.

An online comment from a regular traveller reads: "They should be careful what they wish for." Meanwhile another holidaymaker commented: "Stop going to Spain for 12 months and they will be begging us to come back."