People in Barcelona angry at burgeoning tourist arrivals

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

Locals have protested in the popular resorts of the Spanish city of Barcelona against an unchecked boom in the tourism industry, which they say is making life for the residents increasingly unbearable.

As Barcelona hits its peak tourist season this month, its beach has become overrun by sunbathers.

They argue that the influx of tourists has increased the price of rents, thereby driving longtime residents out of the city center, and driven a spike in rowdy behavior by party-seeking foreigners. They said the influx had also affected rent prices, making life more hard for locals.

Tensions have been growing between authorities and radical leftist groups who launched a campaign of vandalism against mass tourism in Barcelona and other parts of Spain.

Residents of La Barceloneta neighborhood hold up a banner reading "For the abolition of tourist apartments" as they protest against "drunken tourism" in their neighborhood, in Barcelona, Spain, August 12, 2017.

Reports earlier in the week said local authorities had imposed a ban on Segway tours and electric scooters in Barcelona's Old City and in the seafront, apparently to soothe concerns among residents.

Police on the island of Mallorca, and in particular the party town of Magaluf, have vowed to clamp down on public nuisances, many of which are caused by holidaying Brits. British holiday-makers are believed to top the list of drunken foreigners who cause disturbances on the streets and in bars. They're protesting the rising number of tourists arriving in the city. Lured by its mix of sunny weather, Mediterranean cuisine and culture, as well as affordable prices, Spain, a country of 46 million, received 75.3 million tourists in 2016.

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