Young Brits flock to Magaluf

MAGALUF has somewhat unwillingly been transformed into the debauched capital of Mallorca’s party-filled summers over the last couple of decades.

Opinion among the small community of 4,000 locals is divided on whether the current state of the area’s tourism is desirable or not. With the annual cash injection to the local economy come the inevitable scandals that take up so much of the media’s attention during the slow summer months.

One thing is certain, however. Every summer 12,000 young British men and women flock to the island looking for sun, sea, sand, sex, and perhaps most importantly of all, cheap booze.

This fact has not gone unnoticed by the Spanish media, who pounce gladly on the scandalous activity of the holidaymakers whenever possible. The Spanish daily El Pais has described young Brits’ love for the island as a ‘rite of passage,’ and they may not be far wrong.

With school out and qualifications gained young Brits head to the island to let their hair down after months of hard study. Many see a holiday to Magaluf as a type of initiation ceremony: an experience required or a box to tick before heading off to university or starting work.

Intense competition among the bars and clubs results in cocktails going for as little as €2.50 and booze-loving Northern Europeans find it hard to resist the lure of cheap drinks. As the local Chief of Police in the town of Calviàput in when speaking to El Pais:  “I think the alcohol thing is cultural. They come here and go insane.”

The hedonism can go tragically wrong. The phenomenon of ‘balconing’ (jumping from a hotel balcony to the pool, or from one balcony to another), has resulted in six deaths so far this year, and many more life-changing injuries.

In June, a YouTube video of a young British woman performing sex acts on a large group of men in a bar emerged. Leaving aside the morality involved in such an incident, the subsequent media storm that followed is bound to have impacted negatively on this young18-year-old with her whole life ahead of her.

Is the next generation of Brits’ love for cheap thrills and even cheaper drink harmless fun? Or do they give British expats a bad name? This is another impossible question which is bound to firmly divide opinion amongst our communities here in Spain.

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