The Mayor of Calviá, the Minister of Balearic Tourism and the CEO and Vice President of Meliá Hotels International have offered detailed insights into the future of Magaluf.
2015 saw major changes in Magaluf, which was once one of Europe’s favourite summer destinations during the 1970s and 1980s. Following a progressive loss of up-scale services, Magaluf has now re-emerged, thanks to the efforts of local travel and hospitality along with the support of local authorities.
The companies involved believe that Magaluf has the beauty and the potential to be a leading holiday destination once again. Meliá Hotels International, with more than 3,500 rooms in the area, expects to have renovated 11 hotels and invested a total of €190 million by 2017.
Five key objectives for the next five years have been announced, along with an official mission statement.
Magaluf Regeneration Mission Statement:
“We are firmly committed to the transformation of Magaluf in the region of Calviá based on developing a quality tourism product and growing a more diversified customer base. Through ongoing investment plans in Mallorca with support, from private and public sectors, we are working towards a new era of renovation, regeneration and repositioning. This will lead us to a new tourism model, change the perception of Magaluf by changing what it is known for and restore the destination back to the position it deserves.”
Five Year Objectives:
• Extend the season to nine months of the year (March to October) through a strategic approach to the destination with the support of airlines, hotels, complimentary facilities, sports associations, shopkeepers, cultural infrastructure and institutions
• Make Magaluf the ideal destination for family summer holidays with a wide range of competitive, quality facilities and experiences for children, teenagers and adults
• Enhance the availability of sport facilities and events and optimise their marketing to contribute to the sustainability of the resort and reduction in seasonality
• Modernise and improve complimentary facilities, i.e. food and beverage, retail, leisure, culture, etc. to encourage guests to stay in Magaluf in the evenings and also to attract tourists and residents from other parts of Mallorca to the area
• Position Magaluf as a benchmark for the regeneration of a mature destination, an example of innovation and sustainability, changing the reputation of a destination
The Tides Are Turning
Regeneration plans were first implemented in 2012 when local companies, such as Meliá Hotels International, supported by the regional government and Calvià Town Hall, invested heavily in the destination in order to radically overhaul Magaluf. This kick-started the repositioning process, using a strategy that has already been successful in destinations such as Miami Beach and Barcelona. The need for renovation was highlighted by the deterioration of quality hotels and commercial facilities and the decline of the urban environment. Most significantly the proliferation of businesses based on uncontrolled alcohol sales and the tolerance of antisocial behaviour resulted in high crime rates and a phenomenon known as “balconying”, whereby a person jumps from balcony to balcony.
Following the summer 2014 season the public and private sector united for the first time, alarmed by the image of Magaluf that was being portrayed to the world. Authorities made a commitment to revise regulations and work began on an ambitious regeneration model.
Due to the cooperation of local authorities, Calviá Town Hall and the British Foreign Office, there has already been a significant turning of the tides in Magaluf. The 2015 season kicked off with a new set of regulations; Spanish and international police units assigned for law enforcement and an extensive educational campaign generating a dramatic fall in delinquency (only seven arrests compared to 23 in 2014), as well as 11 per cent less guests being forcibly removed from hotels for bad behaviour. Accidents from balcony falls, closely linked to excessive alcohol and drug consumption, also fell from 15 cases reported in 2014 to only five this year.
A More Sustainable Tourism Model
Along with many positive developments in Magaluf, the resort has also seen a change in the type of visitor to the destination. By providing quality hotels as well as products adapted to couples and families with less emphasis on an “all inclusive” and “all you can drink” products, Magaluf is attracting more profitable and sustainable market segments. With the introduction of prestigious leisure and entertainment brands, including new music and chill-out venues, 2015 saw an increase in the number of couples and families visiting Magaluf. Bookings by young holidaymakers, associated with antisocial behaviour, fell by almost 3 per cent.
Due to an improvement in occupancy, which stood at 68 per cent by August 2015, revenues also increased. This was helped by the numerous renovations of hotels (54 per cent of hotels in Magaluf now have four stars) and a healthier balance of occupancy and average rooms prices, with prices increasing by 4.45 per cent in three-star hotels and 6.80 per cent in four-star hotels.
Bars have been most affected by the positive changes in Magaluf as they attracted young people looking for cheap alcohol. Their turnover steadily declined during the season and the once popular bar crawls have now almost been eradicated. These establishments have been replaced with trendy beach clubs and bars, venues with DJs and concerts, sophisticated pool parties and a growth in family entertainment. Many of these travel and hospitality businesses were represented at the Regeneration of Magaluf event held in London last night including Katmandu Park, Mallorca Rocks, BH Mallorca (Cursach Hotels), Viva Hotels, Fergus Hotels, Zhero Boat House, Nikki Beach, Western Water Park (Aspro Ocio) and Globo Balear Entertainment.
The Magaluf regeneration efforts, spearheaded by local travel and hospitality companies and authorities, are now in full motion and changes are already being seen year on year. These changes will ultimately lead to the total repositioning of Magaluf.