Barcelona residents demonstrate: “Tourists go home”

Official reports from the Spanish tourist city of Barcelona said around 2,800 residents held a second demonstration against mass tourism on Sunday.

Protesters were demanding restrictions on Spain’s lucrative tourism industry, citing soaring hotel and other costs, La Vanguardia newspaper reported, and customers at a restaurant popular with tourists were sprayed with water pistols.

Similar protests have also taken place in recent weeks on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and Malaga in southern Spain.

Protesters point to environmental pollution, traffic congestion, overcrowding, water shortages and overburdened health and waste disposal systems.

In Barcelona, ​​people held up signs reading: “Tourists go home. You are not welcome.”

Many homes have been converted into holiday homes, driving up rents – in Barcelona rents have risen 68% in the past decade – forcing many residents to flee to commuter towns on the outskirts, with young people staying with their parents.

Barcelona plans to ban the rental of holiday apartments altogether by the end of 2028 by refusing to renew licences, with landlords threatening legal action.

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

Spain is expecting 91 million holidaymakers and tourists this year, almost double its population of 48 million, with tourism estimated to bring in 125 billion euros ($136 billion) in annual revenue.

People take part in a demonstration against mass tourism in Barcelona under the slogan

People take part in a demonstration against mass tourism in Barcelona under the slogan “Enough is enough. Limit tourism.” Lorena Sopenna/EUROPA PRESS/dpa

People throw water at restaurants and cafes during a demonstration against mass tourism in Barcelona with the slogan People throw water at restaurants and cafes during a demonstration against mass tourism in Barcelona with the slogan

People throw water at restaurants and cafes during a demonstration against mass tourism in Barcelona with the slogan “Enough is enough. Limit tourism”. Lorena Sopenna/EUROPA PRESS/dpa

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