There have been anti-tourism protest actions all over Europe this summer. Especially in Barcelona (Spain), Venice (Italy) and Dubrovnik (Croatia), locals are more than fed up with the tourists who are crowding their beaches, bars and streets. Too much they say.
Don’t misunderstand. The locals are not upset so much at the tourists with kids staying in hotels, paying their room and going to the restaurant afterwards to eat. Those tourists pay a hefty part of their holiday money in local taxes which gets invested back into the economy, so that for them is ok. That has always been there, and always will.
What they are upset with is the fact that so many youngsters have taken to AirBNB, get a room for 30 euro per night, get a flight with Ryanair for 30 euro a night and then drink until they are completely wasted. These kids who don’t spend anything and who now create an overcapacity in the largest of tourist cities on the European continent.
It’s a numbers game basically. If your beach is set up to welcome a maximum of 100,000 tourists and your hotels have that exact capacity, then you are faced with an overcapacity when AirBNB puts 20,000 overnight stays in Barcelona on offer. That is what is happening.
So yesterday an angry crowd of 3,000 locals gathered in the capital of the Spanish islands of Majorca, Palma de Majorca, to ask the tourists to basically ‘go home’.
The spokeswoman of the locals, Ms Margalida Ramis "The Balearic Government must be more sensitive to finding alternatives.”
According to those protesting locals, the islands total dependence on tourism was maybe not the best of ideas.
The hotel and horeca business federation of the island meanwhile rejects those claims, stating that the expenditure of tourism goes up by 10% on a yearly basis, and locals don’t realise how much the tourists are helping to create jobs for the Majorcan economy.
Who will win is unclear, but that the tourists got an extra spectacle at the beach is for sure.