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The Balearic Government, European Alcohol Policy Alliance, IREFREA, The Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and University of the Balearic Islands had the pleasure to host Rethinking Your Travel - An Open Debate, on 13th February 2019 in Palma, Mallorca.
The first international summit on excessive alcohol consumption in travel brought together more than 80 people from a total of ten different countries, who have participated in two round tables.
The president of the Government, Francina Armengol, has opened the summit and stressed the need to eradicate tourism from excess "with the involvement of the whole world, since the solution has to be transversal and the problem does not lie in a single sector". Armengol added that "it is very important to continue on the path of building a society with healthy habits", a fact that "requires positive examples, starting with tourism, which is our main showcase". In this sense, she stressed that it has managed to change the tourism model, with "the commitment to a model with a high economic return, but with an unparalleled social profitability."
Next, the vice-president and consellera of Innovation, Investigation and Tourism, Bel Busquets, welcomed the stakeholders from the islands and international guests that have travelled to Palma to approach the problem of excessive alcohol consumption during holidays. The Balearic Islands were pioneers in the tourism industry and now, remarked Busquets, "we want to be pioneers by bringing together all the actors involved to solve these situations."
In this sense, she explained that the objective of this summit is, on one hand, the sharing of problems that may arise from the abuse of alcohol, and, on the other, an exchange of possible solutions. "The debates that we will have together today will be collected, together with the results of the questionnaires that will be distributed, in a report that will be presented to the different levels of the administration - the Spanish State, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Committee of the Regions. "
The representative of the Committee of the Regions, Ewa-May Karlsson, thanked the organization of the summit, and confirmed that local and regional solutions are not enough. "The Committee of the Regions is committed to renewing the European alcohol strategy, and we are aware that, in order to achieve this, we need synergies at European level."
The summit included representatives of public administrations, the tourism industry from air transport and tour operators to the business community of the tourist destination, social organizations dedicated to the prevention of addictions and expert voices from universities.
The first-round table focused on the incidents in flights caused by alcohol consumption, and the second dealt with the abuse of alcohol in clubs, leisure areas and hotels.