ONCE again this summer, large ‘botellon’ (outdoor drinking) crowds are scaring away family tourism in Mojacar. Young people from all over Andalucia, intending to have fun drinking in what has been called the ‘Andalucian Ibiza’ are harming local tourism and dirtying the beaches. According to local residents, the crowds start to arrive at around 7pm almost every day of the week and fill the beaches with noise and alcohol, bothering the neighbours, holding up traffic, soiling the streets with human waste and leaving large amounts of rubbish behind. Despite the amount of visitors, locals businesses barely make any money at all, mostly due to the fact that ‘botellones’ are a way young people save money on alcohol. The only businesses that are cashing in on the phenomenon are hotels and lodging complexes, which are renting accommodation to young tourists at very low prices.
Opposition leaders have suggested to Mayor Rosa Cano making a ‘botellon’ area, far from holidaymakers’ lodgings and the beaches, or bring in riot police to disperse the growing agglomerations. However, according to Cano these options are costly and ‘inadequate.’ Cano also affirmed that “we are all a part of the problem, including those who rent accommodation at any price, hotels and tourist complexes; and it’s making family holidaymakers go away.” The mayor also asked all citizens and businesspeople to cooperate in keeping this kind of tourism out of Mojacar.