Protesters in Barcelona throw objects and spray travelers with water while chanting: ‘Tourists, go home’


Millions of people flock to Barcelona, ​​Spain, each year to enjoy a sweet taste of idyllic European life. But this past weekend, thousands of people marched through the streets, spraying visitors with water pistols in anger over mass tourism.

The protesters clapped and chanted “tourists, go home!” and carried signs with anti-tourism slogans, arguing that the influx of visitors has driven up the cost of living for residents.

According to the Guàrdia Urbana de Barcelona, ​​​​the municipal police, about 2,800 people took part, the Spanish newspaper reports The country reported. But members of the protest group, the Assemblea de Barris pel Decreixement Turístic, which translates to Neighborhood Assembly for Tourism Degrowth, say as many as 20,000 people have joined, the newspaper reported.

“Tourism and hotels are the group that really makes a lot of money, but all the people are in a very bad situation and don’t have enough money to live. That’s the problem,” said protester Joan Navarro-Bertran.

Barcelona is a gem of Western Europe, with iconic landmarks such as La Sagrada Familia, a cathedral designed by famed architect Antoni Gaudi that has been under construction for over 100 years, sparkling blue beaches and a famous local cuisine.

Tourism is also an important part of the local economy. About 26 million people visited the Barcelona area last year, spending 9.6 billion euros (US$10.4 billion) in the city, according to the Barcelona Tourism Observatory.

Much of the unrest among residents is the result of rising house prices and the displacement of people who have been living there for a long time.

Mayor Jaume Collboni said that rents have increased by almost 70% in the last decade: the BBC reported. In June, Collboni announced a plan to stop renewing permits for renting to foreign visitors from 2028. This would make 10,000 accommodations available to the local population in four years.

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