Marbella welcomes tourists but this summer, as well as inviting them to enjoy its variety of leisure facilities, it is also giving them a clear message: there are certain rules which must be respected.
These include not being partly or fully undressed in the street, consuming drugs or alcohol or making excessive noise in a public place.
The town hall, Local Police, local businesses, the Tourism Centre and AEHCOS hotel association have created an awareness campaign which will be activated this summer to tell visitors that "we are not trying to create difficulties or contravene anyone's freedom, but we want to maintain the reputation for quality for which we have been known worldwide for a long time," said councillor José Eduardo Díaz.
The council has been working for several months on new coexistence regulations, which have now been put on public display.
The campaign focuses on eight types of behaviour which are prohibited, and which could result in a fine of between 300 and 3,000 euros for those who fail to comply. Using segways and other electric vehicles in unauthorised areas; graffiti; urinating or defecating in public; making excessive noise; being partly or fully undressed in public; drinking alcohol or consuming drugs in public; and vandalism.
These are all detailed in the posters that have been put up around the town and the more than 80,000 leaflets which will be distributed throughout the municipality this summer. Local businesses and hotels are also raising awareness through CIT Marbella and AEHCOS, who will give the leaflets to their clients.
The tourism sector
The vice-president of AEHCOS for the Marbella area, Fernando Al Farkh, says he is pleased that the authorities have listened to what the hotel sector has been saying for some time, about the need to stop certain behavour among visitors to the town. "For us it is important not only to raise awareness but also to have a preventive campaign. We don't want a witch-hunt or to fine people, but we need to stop the attitudes thatare damaging the image of Marbella," he said.
The president of CIT Marbella, Juan José González, agrees. "Our town needs to maintain its reputation for quality, excellence and luxury. We can't allow anti-social behaviour," he said.
The head of the Local Police, Javier Martín, said the campaign is starting now because it is the peak tourist season, but it will continue all year. He said extra police patrols are also being carried out on the seafronts of Marbella, San Pedro Alcántara and in Puerto Banús "to make sure that people comply with the regulations and that their behaviour is not a nuisance to other people".