Beach seller fines

British Tourists in Spain Could Face £170 Fines as Undercover Police Patrol Streets

British holidaymakers in Spain are being warned about potential £170 fines if they purchase souvenirs from unlicensed sellers on beaches and streets. This new measure aims to tackle the issue of illegal street vendors, commonly found in popular tourist destinations like Costa Blanca.

Undercover Police to Patrol the Streets

Spanish authorities are deploying undercover police to patrol busy areas frequented by tourists. These officers will be on the lookout for transactions between tourists and unlicensed vendors, imposing fines on those caught in the act. The initiative is part of a broader effort to curb the prevalence of illegal sales and protect local businesses.

The Issue with Unlicensed Sellers

Costa Blanca, a renowned tourist hotspot, is notorious for its ‘manteros’ or blanket sellers. These vendors often sell counterfeit goods such as fake designer handbags, clothing, watches, and sunglasses. Local shop owners, particularly in towns like Benalmadena, report losing 20 to 30 percent of their profits to these unlicensed sellers, according to the local Association of Traders and Businessmen.

Recent Crackdowns and Seizures

In a recent operation, the Guardia Civil confiscated several tonnes of counterfeit products from a warehouse in Alicante, destined for street vendors. This significant seizure highlights the scale of the problem and the determination of Spanish authorities to combat it.

Calls for Increased Police Presence

The mayor of Torrevieja has called for an increased police presence during the summer months to enforce the new regulations. During peak tourist season, the population of Torrevieja can swell to around 500,000, making it imperative to have sufficient law enforcement to manage the influx and maintain order.

Broader Efforts to Manage Tourism

This crackdown is part of a series of measures aimed at managing the challenges posed by mass tourism, particularly as the industry recovers from the pandemic. For example, in Magaluf, strict laws prohibiting alcohol consumption on the streets will be enforced until at least December 2027, with fines reaching up to £1,290 for non-compliance.

Similar Measures in Costa del Sol

The nearby Costa del Sol region is also calling for stricter penalties against tourists who purchase goods from wandering street vendors, colloquially known as “looky looky men.” These efforts reflect a growing trend across popular Spanish tourist destinations to protect legitimate businesses and enhance the visitor experience.


What are the fines for buying from unlicensed sellers in Spain?

British tourists in Spain can face fines of £170 for purchasing goods from unlicensed street vendors.

Who will enforce these fines?

Undercover police officers will patrol the streets and beaches to enforce these fines.

Why is Spain cracking down on unlicensed sellers?

The crackdown aims to protect local businesses from losing profits to illegal vendors and to ensure a safer, more regulated market.

Which areas are most affected by this crackdown?

Popular tourist areas like Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol are the primary focus of this crackdown.

What other measures are being implemented to manage tourism in Spain?

Measures include prohibiting alcohol consumption on the streets in areas like Magaluf, with fines of up to £1,290 for non-compliance, and increasing police presence in crowded tourist spots.

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