Magaluf shuns boozy Brits and sex fest reputation as it becomes luxury resort

Magaluf's rebranding as an upmarket holiday resort spells an end to cheap boozy sun, sand and sex fests for legions of Brits.

Hotel prices have rocketed 10 times since owners refitted them for VIPs.

Only the rich can now afford beachfront hotels in the Majorca resort once dubbed Shagaluf’ over its reputation as a party capital.

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Hotels which once cost £35-a-night are now advertising rooms at £350.

Dr Macia Blazquez, a Balearic Islands University geography professor specialising in tourism, said the move by hotel chains signalled the end of cheap sunshine holidays.

"There is a process of segregation, expulsion, even criminalisation of cheap tourism, calling it excessive tourism’,’’ he said.

The Balearic Islands’ government called time on boozy breaks three years ago by bringing in laws cracking down on binge drinking.

It banned companies promoting bar crawls, two-for-one drinks, happy hours and free ale.

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The restrictions only applied to Magaluf and Arenal de Palma in Majorca and San Antonio in Ibiza – though Spanish authorities have considered widening their reach.

Professor Blazquez said: "In the Balearics they want to get less tourists who can spend more.It is a change which affects British tourists, Germans and Spaniards.’’

He said the process was happening everywhere but especially pronounced in the Balearic Islands because they have traditionally been one of the most expensive places to go on holiday in Spain.

The move upmarket had been partly triggered by climate change as experts asked how is tourism contributing’.

"There are rising energy costs. There is a social polarisation. It is a privilege to travel. It is the end of cheap tourism,’’ he said.

"What we are seeing from the change on Magaluf beachfront is the end of Magaluf as it was.

"They want it to be a luxury destination.’’

Last year 13.2 million tourists visited the Balearic Islands, according to research by Caixa Bank.

José Luis Zoreda, vice-president of Spanish tourism lobby Exceltur, said at the time the booze binge bans were passed that hotel owners wanted to attract a different kind of tourist’.


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