Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

Beautiful island dubbed ‘Spanish Mykonos’ launches anti-tourist crackdown with visitor ban

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun15,2024

Residents of the village dubbed the “Spanish Mykonos” have denied declaring “war” on holidaymakers after imposing anti-tourist measures.

British holidaymakers had said that the “anti-tourist” measures, which included chaining up their streets at night, made them feel unwelcome and would make them think twice before visiting the Balearics again.

Since the start of last month, locals in Binibeca Vell, a beautiful fishing village in southern Menorca, in the Balearic islands, have said they do not want any visitors before 11am or after 8pm in a bid to stop Instagram-obsessed tourists entering their private properties.

Outside these hours, residents have taken to chaining off the 22 entrances to their private community, famous for its narrow cobbled alleys through its whitewashed houses.

Locals insist that tourists who visit do so in silence – seen on the many signs which also order visitors not to touch their flower beds. Chains have also been installed to stop tourists sitting on certain walls.

Residents have been complaining about how hordes of rowdy tourists overrun the village during the summer season and ruin their peace and privacy in search of holiday pictures. Locals have shared photographs of tourists disrespecting their private homes, with one shown splayed out on a stairwell and another having scaled a balcony.

Maita, 63, told the MailOnline that “last week, there was a couple sitting here [at my table] and I came down from upstairs and said ‘hey, what are you doing?” But said that “nothing happens afterwards”.

Online, visitors are urged to “avoid uncivic attitudes” by refraining from activities such as the above and to help keep the village clean by “using the bins and keeping the walls white”.

In August, its 195 homeowners are set to vote on whether to continue this practice or completely ban all tourists from the village, which is visited by around 800,000 holidaymakers a year.

However, local business owners have warned that a ban would be disastrous due to their heavy reliance on trade from tourists.

Oscar Monge, President of the Community of Property Owners in Binibeca Vell, insisted tourists are welcome in the village and the new rules are not designed to wreck anyone’s livelihood. Speaking to MailOnline, he said that most villagers backed the new rules as a “question of common sense”.

He said that a municipal deal was in place last year that allowed tourists from midday to 9pm, but accused the island council of ruining it by failing to properly regulate the bus loads of tourists and withdrawing a nearly £13,000 subsidy to help clean up rubbish left by holidaymakers .

Mr Monge added: “I think the measures are having the desired effects as far as homeowners here are concerned with regards to the amount of people during the hours of rest… The regulation of the tourist coaches is improving and there seems to be a better understanding of the situation among tour operators who operate them.”

However, he said: “Things reach a stage where people say ‘enough is enough’ and that’s what’s happened.”

He added that it costs the village almost £85,500 a year to keep the houses white due to them getting blackened by people putting their hands on the walls: “If we weren’t getting 800,000 visitors a year, we’d probably have to paint only every two or possibly every three years”.

On the topic of protests in Ibiza and Mallorca, Mr Monge added: “We don’t have that tourist massification they have… but politicians are encouraging the protests with their inaction and their failure to address issues like the one we have in Binibeca Vell.”

In a message to British tourists visiting Binibeca Vell, he said: “Keep on coming within the permitted timetables, respect our community when you come and enjoy… You will always be welcome.”

“What this definitely isn’t though is a war between us and the tourists,” he added.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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