Nearly 3,000 people protest in Barcelona against mass tourism News
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Nearly 3,000 people protest in Barcelona against mass tourism

A mass demonstration took place Sunday in Barcelona, where about 2,800 people took to the streets to demand limits on tourism, according to the Guàrdia Urbana (Urban Guard).

Footage circulating on social media shows that protestors were holding slogans saying “Enough, let’s put limits on tourism.” While the demonstration was mostly peaceful, local media reports show that there had been moments of tension when some of the protesters put up tape in front of hotels and restaurants to prevent customers from entering and leaving while others squirted water at tourists, urging them to “go home.” 

The demonstration was initiated by several anti-tourism organizations such as No a la Copa América, Zeroport, and Resistim al Gòtic. The protestors are demanding government actions including stopping the promotion of tourism and opposing major events that have taken place or will take place in Barcelona (such as the Copa América, the Louis Vuitton fashion show, or Formula 1), dissolving the Barcelona Tourism consortium, not expanding the El Prat Airport, and reducing cruises. Protesters claim that mass tourism is one of the biggest problems facing the city, affecting local housing prices, the cost of living, climate and inequality.

Barcelona Mayor Jaume Collboni responded on Sunday by reaffirming the government’s commitment to limit tourism in the city. He committed to removing more than 10,000 tourist flats and turning them into residential units, increasing the tourist tax surcharge to 4 € per night, and limiting the number of cruise passengers who do not stay overnight. He also stated that in order to promote social welfare, the government is investing part of the tourism revenue in projects such as the School Climate Plan, which aims to ensure the air quality at public schools and meanwhile help achieve decarbonization and reduce pollutant emissions. “Our goal is to build a balanced and sustainable tourism model that benefits everyone,” Collboni said.
Statistics from Guàrdia Urbana show that more than 1 million tourists visited Barcelona in May 2024.