Spain tourist backlash: Britons 'will take money elsewhere' as Spain proposes new rules on UK tourists

Spain beach / people drinking outside in Madrid

Nightlife in Spain could be set to change

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 12/03/2024

- 09:22

Updated: 18/03/2024

- 16:04

A new initiative that could see Spanish bars and restaurants close early has been hit by backlash, with concerns tourists will travel elsewhere on holiday

Many Britons go on holiday to Spain to enjoy beautiful beaches, sunny weather and exciting nightlife, but new rules could change how this is done.

Plans to close bars and restaurants early across the country have been proposed - and tourists aren't happy with some even threatening to "boycott" Spain.

Minister of employment and social economy Yolanda Díaz said the current opening hours in the hospitality industry are "not reasonable".

“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," she told Spain's Congress last week.

Beach Tenerife

The proposals could be rolled out to all parts of Spain


This has been met with backlash, however, and the mayor of Maria de la Salut and the president of the Felib federation of town halls Jaume Ferriol commented on the changes.

He said it is a matter for individual town halls and the rules should not be implemented in all parts of the country without consideration.

He explained: "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.

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

The Balearic Islands such as Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca are popular holiday hotspots and depend on tourism from countries such as the UK.

Closing bars and restaurants early could deter tourists from visiting, Ferriol suggested. GB News readers agreed and commented on the proposals.

One wrote on X: "A number of good reasons to remove Spain from one's list of possible holiday destinations. I haven't been to Spain for 20 years and don't miss it in the slightest."

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

One more reader shared their shock at the proposed new rules stating they are "crazy". The president of the Community of Madrid Isabel Diaz Ayuso also commented on the proposal.

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


people drinking outside in Madrid

The proposals have faced backlash and some Britons said they will 'boycott' Spain


“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 suggested to help reduce noise, stop anti-social behaviour and improve the working hours of staff in the hospitality industry.

Díaz suggested it would be part of broader changes that could be brought in across Spain, so British tourists are warned to look out for further updates.

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