Irish tourists who have booked all-inclusive holidays to Spain’s top resorts this summer will be hit with a draconian ‘six drinks a day’ law.
Visitors to island resorts such as Mallorca and Ibiza, as well as some hotels in the Balearic Islands, will only be allowed three drinks with their meals.
And there is no way Irish visitors are allowed to drink all six glasses in one sitting.
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They will also have to pay the going rate for beer, wine and spirits if they want more than their meager three drinks at their meal allowance.
Local authorities tired of Spanish resorts have taken drastic action in a bid to curb drunken holidaymakers, mostly from the UK, causing chaos on the islands.
Leading Irish travel writer Eoghan Corry told the Irish Sunday Mirror that resorts had no alternative due to growing drink-fueled disorder.
He said: “This has been an uncontrollable problem at all-inclusive resorts for many years. What happened was that a small number came to try to get drunk.
“It’s usually not the cost they look at, it’s the mess that can result.”
Spanish authorities first announced the new law in January, but it has come as a surprise to Irish holidaymakers who are now arriving.
Spanish local authorities introduced the alcohol ban earlier this year, which affects some resort areas in the Balearic Islands, including Palma, Ibiza and Magaluf.
The new law – which states that ‘alcoholic beverages will be limited to six a day’ – is part of a package of measures aimed at cracking down on anti-social behaviour.
These are also believed to include bans on pub crawls, happy hours and two-for-one drink deals, all of which are enforced by hefty fines. It is also understood that shops in these stations will not be allowed to sell alcohol after 9.30pm during the holiday season.
Eoghan Corry said some Irish holidaymakers might be surprised by the rule, adding that all-inclusive deals could soon be a thing of the past.
He added: ‘This should have been better flagged, but you have to remember that it’s at the cheaper end of the all-inclusive business that you find this. It’s not really high end. All-inclusive is controversial anyway because the tourist boards don’t like it as it keeps people in resort and doesn’t take them to local hotels and bars.
“Certainly in Europe, all-inclusive is becoming less and less of a thing.”
Calls have been made for tour operators to give holidaymakers more information about how their trips could be affected by the draconian laws.
Those booking all-inclusives are recommended to examine the fine print and see what is actually included and not.
A Twitter user claimed inclusive holidays with alcohol limits should be marketed as ‘half board’ – and called for hotel contracts where this was not clearly stated to be torn up.
Tour operator Thomas Cook recently alerted customers to the free booze crackdown via email.
They said: “Please note that a decree has been issued by the Balearic government on a new restriction for all-inclusive meal options.
“There is a maximum of six alcoholic drinks per person per day that can be served and these drinks will only be provided during lunch and dinner.
“Please note that Magaluf, El Arenal, Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza, there is a new restriction on all inclusive.”
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