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Barcelona residents protest towards mass tourism

Barcelona residents protest against mass tourism

Demonstrators march throughout a protest towards mass tourism on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas alley, on July 6, 2024. Protests towards mass tourism have multiplied in latest months throughout Spain, the world’s second-most visited nation. Agence France-Presse

BARCELONA — 1000’s of protesters marched Saturday in Barcelona to denounce mass tourism and its impact on Spain’s most visited metropolis, the most recent in a collection of comparable marches within the nation.

Underneath the slogan “Sufficient! Let’s put limits on tourism”, some 2,800 folks — in accordance with police — marched alongside a waterfront district of Barcelona to demand a brand new financial mannequin that would scale back the tens of millions of vacationers that go to yearly.

“I’ve nothing towards tourism, however right here in Barcelona we’re affected by an extra of tourism that has made our metropolis unlivable,” stated Jordi Guiu, a 70-year-old sociologist.

READ: Mass protests in Canary Islands decry overtourism

With banners saying “Cut back tourism now!”, the protesters chanted slogans similar to “Vacationers out of our neighborhood”, stopping in entrance of resorts to the shock of holiday makers.

Barcelona’s rising price of housing, up 68 p.c previously decade in accordance with native authorities, is without doubt one of the important points for the motion, together with the consequences of tourism on native commerce and dealing circumstances within the metropolis of 1.6 million inhabitants.

“Native outlets are closing to make manner for shops that don’t serve the wants of neighborhoods. Individuals can not afford their rents,” stated Isa Miralles, a 35-year-old musician who lives within the Barceloneta district.

READ: Flooded with sightseers, Europe’s iconic church buildings battle to accommodate each worship and tourism

The northeastern coastal metropolis, with internationally well-known websites similar to La Sagrada Familia, acquired greater than 12 million vacationers final yr, in accordance with native authorities.

To fight the “detrimental results of mass tourism”, the town council run by the Socialist Jaume Collboni introduced 10 days in the past that it was banning vacationer house leases — there at the moment are greater than 10,000 — by 2028 in order that they are often put again on the native housing market.

The announcement might result in a authorized battle and is opposed by an affiliation of vacationer flats who say it would simply feed the black market.

The Barcelona protests come after related demonstrations in vacationer hotspots similar to Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and the Canary Islands.

The second most visited nation after France, Spain acquired 85 million overseas guests in 2023, a rise of 18.7 p.c from the earlier yr, in accordance with the Nationwide Statistics Institute.

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Essentially the most visited area was Catalonia, whose capital is Barcelona, with 18 million, adopted by the Balearic Islands (14.4 million) and the Canary Islands (13.9 million).

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