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article imageBritish Embassy exaggerates to scare UK tourists on Ibiza

By Anne Sewell     Jun 30, 2014 in Travel
Ibiza - Both local businessmen and politicians on the Spanish Balearic island of Ibiza are slamming a new UK safety campaign warning British tourists not "not to walk home alone," among other things. They state that the warnings are both "false" and "excessive."
There are several messages listed on a new leaflet issued by the British Embassy as part of the brand-new safety campaign for UK tourists visiting Ibiza. Among these warnings, one of the recommendations suggests British citizens should stay with their groups and not walk in the street on their own or with someone they don’t know, as it could cost them their life.
Many local businesses are up in arms about the exaggerated warnings and Roberto Hortensius, President of Ibiza's Hotel Federation, told the Local that to an extent the warnings make sense, but that they have been overdone.
Hortensius said, “Based on the number of incidents there’s been in the past, it makes sense that the British Embassy has launched this safety campaign.” However he added, “But the slogan which claims it’s dangerous to walk home alone in Ibiza is fake and excessive."
“What’s more, thousands of brochures with these ominous warnings have been distributed around Ibiza in hotels and areas where mostly families and tourists not looking to party are staying.”
Part of a leaflet produced by the British Embassy warning UK tourists about the dangers of Ibiza  Sp...
Part of a leaflet produced by the British Embassy warning UK tourists about the dangers of Ibiza, Spain.
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Other slogans in the so-called “Enjoy and Respect” campaign, point out the potential dangers of "balconing," where drunk tourists jump off their balcony hoping to hit the swimming pool, sometimes with fatal consequences ("Don't fool around on balconies").
They also stress the risk of having your drink "spiked" ("Keep an eye on your drink") and Hortensius continued by saying the campaign should target mainly the young British tourists. He said that those holidaying at Playa d’en Bossa and San Antonio are the actual individuals lacking “responsibility” when partying and drinking excessively.
“We don’t want a tourism model that promotes these irresponsible attitudes but unfortunately Ibiza still has Club 18-30 clubbing holidays which are largely alcohol-fueled,” he said.
Reportedly last week, Hortensius attending two meetings with the Mayor of Ibiza, Pepita Gutiérrez, the Vice-Consul in Ibiza and the British Consulate in the Balearic Islands at which he requested that the Town Hall remove this campaign, but with no success.
On the other side, the British Embassy in Madrid apparently argues that "the campaign messages were jointly agreed with local authorities in San Antonio."
"There are recorded incidents of the kinds of problems mentioned in the campaign and it's in everyone's best interests that tourists are safe and have the kind of holiday they want to remember."
The spokesperson told the Local that the incidents are "not just limited to the 16-25-year-old market either."
According to Typically Spanish, the Socialist spokesman in the Sant Antoni Town Hall, Pep Marí, said, "The campaign is pathetic, brutal, it has to be removed ..... We can’t put up posters saying if you stay at this hotel you could be killed. This is a disaster. We are saying we are an unsafe destination and this will have an effect on the image of the entire island."
According to Kyero, basically if tourists themselves can keep their drinking under control and behave themselves, they will have a safe and wonderful holiday in Ibiza, without the need of exaggerated warnings.
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