Friday, July 12, 2024

Barcelona residents demonstrate: ‘Tourists go home’


Around 2,800 Barcelona residents held a second demonstration on Sunday against mass tourism, according to official reports in the Spanish tourist hotspot.

The protestors cited rising accommodation and other costs in calling for restrictions on Spain’s lucrative tourism sector, the La Vanguardia newspaper reported. Patrons of restaurants popular with tourists were sprayed with water from water pistols.

Similar demonstrations have been held on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, on the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and in Málaga in southern Spain over recent weeks.

The protestors point to environmental pollution, traffic jams, overcrowding, water shortages and the overloading of health and refuse removal systems.

In Barcelona, they held up placards reading: “Tourists go home. You are not welcome.”

The conversion of many homes to holiday apartments has driven up rents. The rise in Barcelona over the past decade came in at 68%. Many residents have been forced to flee to dormitory suburbs on the outskirts, and young people are living with their parents.

Barcelona plans to ban the letting of holiday apartments completely by the end of 2028 by refusing to renew permits. Landlords are threatening legal action in response.

In Málaga, thousands of people demonstrated against the “invasion” of foreign tourists.

Spain is expecting as many as 91 million holidaymakers and visitors over the course of this year, almost twice its population of 48 million. Tourism is estimated to bring in €125 billion ($136 billion) a year.

People participate in a demonstration against mass tourism in Barcelona under the slogan 'Enough. Let's put a limit to tourism'. Lorena Sopêna/EUROPA PRESS/dpa

People participate in a demonstration against mass tourism in Barcelona under the slogan ‘Enough. Let’s put a limit to tourism’. Lorena Sopêna/EUROPA PRESS/dpa

People splash water on restaurants and cafes during a demonstration against mass tourism in Barcelona under the slogan 'Enough. Let's put a limit to tourism'. Lorena Sopêna/EUROPA PRESS/dpa

People splash water on restaurants and cafes during a demonstration against mass tourism in Barcelona under the slogan ‘Enough. Let’s put a limit to tourism’. Lorena Sopêna/EUROPA PRESS/dpa



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