Balconing Mallorca: Boozy balcony falls turned into ‘international competition’

Balconing Mallorca: Boozy balcony falls turned into 'international competition'
Residents of Mallorca are turning to humour rather than despair through a Facebook group that ranks the number of balcony falls on the island by nationality.

Dubbed “Balconing Mallorca”, the Facebook group features a number of tongue-in-cheek introductions to news links about the alcohol-fuelled events (and in many cases avoidable tragedies) that have happened on the Balearic island so far this summer. 

Rather than openly criticise the drunk tourists’ behaviour, centred largely in Mallorca’s cheap booze capital Magaluf, the group’s administrator takes on an ironic tone in which he commends the violence, debauchery and self-harm of the mostly young, male British tourists.

The most controversial post of all is a balconing ranking by country, under the title “Balcon League 2019”. The creator lists the number of balconing cases by nationality, as if it were a competitive sport.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term balconing, it refers to the extremely dangerous trend of attempting to jump from a hotel balcony into the swimming pool down below, usually from a considerable height.

Rather than a jump it ends up being an accidental fall in 85 percent of cases, with victims usually if not always under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The reckless trend started in Mallorca and Ibiza around 2010, and although Spain’s Interior Ministry hasn’t collected official data on balconing deaths, they have roughy numbered somewhere between 6 and 12 every year since the start of the decade.

Given that people’s lives are being lost it may seem to some outsiders that Balconing Mallorca’s approach to such news is tactless.

However, locals of the Balearic Islands have most likely grown tired of seeing parts of their archipelago transformed into adult playgrounds where extreme alcohol consumption and disrespectful behaviour reign supreme.

Using humour to deal with senseless acts such as balconing – rather than anger or insults (especially on social media) – appears to be a more levelheaded and human reaction.

Meanwhile, the British Embassy in Madrid together with the British Consulate in Majorca have launched an online campaign titled “Stick With Your Mates”, in which they provide advice to young British tourists on how to stay safe while on a wild night out in Spain.

Research shows that the majority of accidents on the islands’ cheap holiday hotspots happen when a tourist strays from his or her group of friends.


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