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No campaign is able to slow down the ' balcony '

Authorities and businessmen try to tackle a practice that has taken the lives of four young tourists in Majorca during this 2018

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No campaign is able to slow down the ' balcony '
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Nothing seems capable of stopping balcony, an absurd and lethal phenomenon that consists of moving from one balcony to anor or jump from a considerable height to a pool, always after a significant consumption of alcohol and sometimes also drugs, and that proliferates in areas Tur Features, especially Balearic Islands. In season we have already claimed four victims.

The problem of so-called "precipitates" has led to life of four people in Majorca during this 2018: a British girl and boy, a young Irishman and a French Quarter. The first one had left keys inside tourist apartment and tried to get into balcony, falling from a fifth floor. The second rushed from a seventh of same apartment building and third died after falling out of fifth-floor window of a hotel where it was not lodged. The last deceased rushed from sixth floor of some apartments and his corpse was not found until next morning.

"In May 2011 I went with a few friends to Magaluf. I was on balcony and I needed a lighter to light cigar. Then I asked people on terrace below and it was when I tried to catch it when I fell headlong. I saw six or seven balconies as I fell and landed on a plastic lounger. People told me that if he didn't get re, he wouldn't have survived. " It is what counts Jake Evans, a young man from Liverpool now in twenty, who has become in last years in image of campaigns promoted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of United Kingdom and by Association of travel Agencies of country to raise awareness S young from dangers of balcony. A campaign that has failed to curb that kind of Russian tourist roulette of heights.

"The profile of victim is that of a young man who is around 20 years old, from United Kingdom or Ireland, which in 85% of cases tries to move from one balcony to anor," says Dr. Juan José Segura, a medical surgeon at University Hospital of Son Espases in Palma , which serves an average of between 10 and 15 injured each year. Young people arrive with very important contusions that in 70% of cases end up causing some type of sequel or disability, result of serious spinal injuries. "They are kids that until time of accident have led a healthy life and y happen to depend on someone for a nonsense," says Dr. Segura, who has participated in a series of informative videos that UK Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Association Of travel agencies have launched in country to raise awareness to British who travel to Majorca from dangers of practice.

The ' balcony ' is a phenomenon of which re is news in Balearic Islands for almost a decade, although re are no official records on total number of people who died for this reason. The ratio is 2.5 cases per million British tourists, according to a study driven by Doctor Segura. These episodes, however, also occur in or places in Spain such as Salou and Lloret, where jumps from terraces of hotels are punished with fines. They have also been recorded wounded by ' balcony ' in summer areas of Balkans with Russian tourism as a majority market. "The United Kingdom is promoting party and alcohol and re is a tradition of spending a week consuming alcohol and living intoxicated life and has practically become a stage that young people have to pass before reaching maturity" concludes Segura.

Reinforcement campaigns

The rebounding of cases over past few weeks has led authorities to convene meetings to take steps to tackle problem. Alfonso Rodríguez, mayor of Calvia Town hall where tourist centre of Magaluf is located, is committed to intensifying outreach campaigns in country of origin as well as in plane routes to island for which visitors come aware Of consequences of this type of practice. "We need to work on this type of campaign, but we should also have regulatory capacity to limit aggressive supply of alcohol both at all-inclusive of certain hotels, such as ' Happy Hour ' and free bar of leisure establishments offered to Very cheap prices and incite a high consumption "he says.

In recent years city Council has amended Ordinance for Promotion of coexistence and has raised fines for consumption of alcohol in public thoroughfare. Also through ordinance regulating exterior aestics of commercial establishments has banned exposure of alcoholic beverages in shop windows, supermarkets and liquor stores. "Some establishments are beginning to control mselves and understand that y must go towards quality and avoid those excessive offers. Ors are unfortunately resistant to change, "says Rodriguez, who demands a clear regulatory framework to try to get alcohol out of all-inclusive regime offered by hotels.

This is an all-inclusive offer that hoteliers do not consider as one of triggers of ' balcony ' cases. "Most accidents occur at dawn when young people leave nightclubs and locals," says president of Hotel Association Palmanova-Magaluf, Sebastiá Darder, who advocates only for controlling alcohol in offer of hotels destined to Young people and leaving out family complexes. Entrepreneurs have been taking initiatives to avoid se accidents for several summers; The height of balustrades of balconies has been increased, one tries to lodge most problematic groups in low plants and entrepreneurs exchange information to avoid relodging tourists who have had vandalism behaviors.

Fines in Palma

In Palma city Council has decided to tackle problem of ' blaconing ' with fines. The new Ordinance of civic use of public spaces that will enter into force in September provides penalties of up to 750 euros for those who are surprised from balcony to balcony. It has also decided to stop alcohol and has banned its sale between midnight and eight in morning if not to consume it inside establishment or on terraces enabled. "The regulation will allow to intervene in tourism of excesses that makes alcohol its main activity and generates a bad image for city" affirms mayor Antoni Noguera.

"Prevention campaigns are very important. When a case occurs, many services are put in place, from extra hospital care to activation of trauma code involving surgeons, anaestists, emergency personnel, intensives and nursing, "underlines Doctor Segura, who estimates in a 32,000 euros cost of public health care for each case of ' balcony '. "Even if y survive fall, y're not going to have same life y had. Neir y nor ir family "concludes safely.

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