I was driving through Magaluf last weekend when a man walked out in front of my car. He was lucky as El Topolino (my ancient Polo) doesn’t go very fast anyway. But there was something about the way the guy was conducting himself that really stuck in my mind. It could have been the fact that he was walking around in broad daylight in the smallest pair of budgie smugglers that I have seen in a long while. What is it about being on holiday that makes normal people think it is okay to go shopping with only their underpants on? Or perhaps it was the fact that he did literally saunter across the road in front of me ‘It’s okay I’m on holiday, nothing bad can happen to me here’.
It’s that false sense of security that holiday makers get. I don’t know if it is the weather that makes them feel relaxed, the lack of, or change of, routine, possibly an increase in booze consumption. But whatever it is, it makes regular people act as if they have been spellbound by their vacation. That’s okay if you’re walking around in the land of milk and honey where nothing bad ever happens… but we know this isn’t true. There have been some seriously unpleasant things going on in Magaluf already this season: three young people have died in three separate accidents where they have fallen from balconies or stairwells, and several inebriated men have been mugged by gangs of prostitutes.
We can’t change the behaviour of the tourists, they’re on holiday, and they’ve got the ‘nothing bad will happen’ attitude. We need to wrap these people up in cotton wool; we need more police on the beat in the resort to keep the peace and to keep people safe. We should be doing what we can to make sure our visitors stay safe on holiday and have a good time without being preyed upon by gangs of thieves or ending up in hospital or worse. Yes, it’s all very well putting a warning on the Foreign Office’s website, but that’s not going to have any impact on the people who go to Maga on holiday. The only purpose that serves in reality is to act as an ‘I told you so’ riposte after the tragic event has occurred.
Apparently the balconies are the standard height for European hotels. I just read this on a tour operator’s website: ‘Please take extra care on balconies after drinking alcohol’. It’s just not going to make any difference. How many people who are out on holiday are going to think to themselves ‘Ooh, hang on, I’ve just drunk ten pints and ten tequila shots. I must make sure I take extra care on the balcony’. Now I’ve heard that the Hoteliers are going to write ‘guidelines’, it’s just another document to say ‘Not our fault, we accept zero responsibility’. No. We have to keep these people safe. If the current accident frequency continues there could be twenty deaths by the end of the summer season. Come on Calvia Council, and the local Hotelier Association, and the Balearic Government. Stop having meetings about this problem, and get something done about it.