Miami Beach is done with spring breakers—and they’re not alone

Aside from a verbal breakup, the city also announced in advance that it would increase the presence of law enforcement, instate temporary weekend curfews, restrict beach access, and conduct more bag checks and driver checkpoints. So far, the campaign seems to be having the desired effect, according to recent local news reports that say crime is down compared to last year. In the first three weeks of March, there were 26 percent fewer felony arrests, no stampedes, and no shootings.

Even still, the city’s breakup campaign isn’t universally supported by local businesses and residents. Some told the Associated Press recently that they think the crackdown is racially motivated and associated with an increase in Black tourists visiting the city. Others are concerned that dissuading any visitors is bad news for businesses that rely on an influx of spring break money. But the longstanding tradition of turning the city into a frat party is no longer working for its residents, government officials say. 

“The status quo and what we’ve seen in the last few years is just not acceptable, not tolerable,” Miami Beach Mayor Steven Meiner said, according to the AP.

Miami Beach isn’t alone. Its breakup follows in the footsteps of Amsterdam’s “Stay Away” campaign last year, which was intended to deter tourists who come for drinking, drugs, and sex tourism and who often end up getting arrested for bad behavior. But instead of broadly rejecting all ‘bad’ tourists, the campaign took heat for targeting only British men between the ages of 18 and 35. The campaign turned up in results for search terms like “stag party Amsterdam,” offering would-be travelers videos of men being arrested in hopes of dissuading them from coming in the first place. 

And in Playa de Palma, Spain, businesses collaborated on a joint dress code to refuse entry to anyone who seemed to be participating in “drunken tourism.” The rules debuted in 2022 and barred guests from dining in swimsuits, umbrella hats, football kits, and other souvenir accessories.

Back in Miami Beach, spring break isn’t over just yet—and of course, it will happen again next year. Only time will tell whether the breakup will stick.

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