'I'm boycotting Spain!' Britons say they 'will never go back' to holiday hotspot amid new rules affecting tourists

Beach in Spain / food in Spanish restaurant

Spain has proposed changes to hospitality

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 18/03/2024

- 09:20

Updated: 18/03/2024

- 15:12

New plans to close Spanish bars and restaurants early have sparked debate among tourists, with some saying they will "never go back" to the popular holiday destination

Spanish officials have shared plans to reduce the opening hours in the hospitality industry across the country.

However, this has been met with backlash from British tourists, who often choose the sunny hotspot as their holiday destination.

Minister of employment and social economy Yolanda Díaz said the current opening hours of many Spanish bars and restaurants are not "reasonable".

They told Spain's Congress: “A country that has its restaurants open at one in the morning is not reasonable. It is crazy to try to continue extending hours until I don’t know what time."

Sea by Tenerife

Holidaymakers have shared their opinions on the new rules


However, this has sparked mixed reactions, with GB News readers saying they will avoid trips to the country if this is the case.

One said: "Can't wait to see the knock on effect. Then by the time they realise... it'll be too late as all the tourists will set up elsewhere. Talk about biting the hand that feeds them."

Another commented: "Spain is not the centre of the universe... If they want to cut off their nose etc. I’m sure the great British holidaymakers will happily oblige by spending their hard-earned cash where it’s welcome."

A third said: "I prefer to holiday in the UK. Spend my money in my own communities. I have always had a better time."

One more wrote: "There are new regulations every day. This is an awful way to treat tourists in their country. Boycotting Spain."

A British expat said they loved Spain when living there in the 1980s and 1990s, but added they would "never go back" now.

One more said Spain is "shooting itself in the foot" as Spanish people enjoy eating after 10pm and won't be able to do so with the new rules.

However, some were in favour of the proposals. One added: "Why do they complain? If they had to work those long hours they would understand."

A second said: "Nothing to stop one getting a drink and a meal before 10pm... If you don't like it here, fine."

The mayor of Maria de la Salut and president of the Felib federation of town halls Jaume Ferriol also commented on the new proposals, saying individual councils should be able to set the rules, as some areas rely on tourism more heavily than others.

He said: "We, the town halls, are the ones who best know the needs of the restaurant sector and the consequences that these may have for residents, mainly due to the issue of noise. We meet with both parties and try to satisfy them.


People drinking outside in Madrid

Some have said they will "boycott" Spain


"The Balearic Islands are not the same as, for example, Castile and León. Each region has its type of economy and its climate."

The president of the Community of Madrid Isabel Diaz Ayuso commented on the proposal as well, posting on X.

She penned: “Spain has the best nightlife in the world, with streets full of life and freedom. And they also provide jobs.

“They want us Puritans, materialists, socialists, without soul, without light and without restaurants because they feel like it. Bored and at home.”

The rules have been introduced to help reduce noise, stop anti-social behaviour and improve the working hours of staff in the hospitality industry.

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