Critics slam ‘happy condom’ carnival deal

A company offering trips to the annual carnival in the southern Spanish city of Cadiz has been criticized for including alcohol and 'happy condoms' alongside transport and food in its €18 ($21) package deal.

Critics slam 'happy condom' carnival deal
Cadiz's carnival mainly features traditional acts like choirs but has a growing reputation for wild hedonism. Photo: José Luis Roca/ AFP

Party travel company Emycet is offering express 19-hour return trips to the popular event from different locations in Andalusia, with transport, breakfast, a city tour, a 'huge hamburger', 'happy condom', red wine and beer all included.

It has promoted similar deals for a number of years, mainly to university students.

The Cadiz carnival, held from February 12th to February 22th in 2015, is a popular event heavy on political satire which encompasses music, parades, fireworks and plays.

The Saturday climax of the carnival has gained a growing reputation in recent years as a massive outdoor 'botellón' drinking party with abundant alcohol and casual sex. Many traditional acts now refuse to perform on that evening, according to Spanish daily El Pais.

Andalucia's regional government complained that Emycet's deal "spoils the reputation of the carnival as a quality destination and generator of wealth".

The president of Cadiz's hotel trade association, Antonio de Maria Ceballos, said, "This isn't the image we want to present. The carnival is a cultural and entertainment phenomenon, and shouldn't be based on a preconceived notion that 'anything goes'."

But Cadiz's mayor, Teófila Martínex, said, "We can't hinder private enterprise. The city is an open space. Thousands of people come every year and it's a peaceful party."