The quiet summer in the Balearics has led to near bar wars breaking out in some resorts as establishments battle for business, but the only winners have been the big bars and clubs. Yesterday the Association of Bars and Restaurant owners in Punta Ballena and the surrounding area, met to discuss a summer 2003 fair trading strategy to be put to Calvia council. President of the association, Bernando Mendoza, who represents 120 bars and restaurants, said yesterday at the meeting that the majority of bars can no longer compete with the clubs which are offering free bars and bags of presents. The association is proposing getting rid of happy hours, introducing fixed prices for drinks which all bars would charge, opening hours which all bars and clubs would respect and a crackdown on ticket touts. Mendoza said that there are certain clubs which have an army of ticket touts operating all over Magalluf and that in the face of such unfair competition this summer, coupled with the drop in tourists, the majority of bars have suffered. Mendoza said “the English tourists who come to Magalluf don't come to get drunk, that's an easy image to portray, but it's the wrong one. “Our clients are some of the best behaved in Europe and we want to provide them with a quality, personal service, not free bars and litres of cheap alcohol, which in the long term will only harm the resort's image.” The pub crawls have caused sufficient problems between bar owners and the local council over the past few years, but now the bar association intends to see a new set of guidelines introduced in time for next summer. While this summer has been poor, in Magalluf, where some hotels have remained closed all season, unfair competition has only made the situation worse.

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