Barcelona Visitors Sprayed By Water Guns As Residents Protest Glut Of Tourism

Protesters gathered in Barcelona, Spain, this weekend to take a stand against over-tourism.While some protesters chanted and carried signs that said “Tourists, go home” and “Barcelona is not for sale,” some took to spraying tourists with water guns, according to multiple news outlets. The city’s police force, the Guàrdia Urbana de Barcelona, reported that 2,800

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Protesters gathered in Barcelona, Spain, this weekend to take a stand against over-tourism.

While some protesters chanted and carried signs that said “Tourists, go home” and “Barcelona is not for sale,” some took to spraying tourists with water guns, according to multiple news outlets.

The city’s police force, the Guàrdia Urbana de Barcelona, reported that 2,800 protesters showed up Saturday, according to NBC News, which cited the Spanish news organization El País.

However, the group that organized the demonstration, Assemblea de Barris pel Decreixement Turístic (the Neighborhood Assembly for Tourist Degrowth), with more than 150 local organizations, estimated that 20,000 demonstrators were there, The Washington Post reported.

The group published a manifesto with 13 demands to address mass tourism, including reducing tourist accommodations and working to eliminate cruise terminals in the Port of Barcelona, according to Al Jazeera. Protesters claim the growth of tourism has driven up rents and worsened the city’s quality of life.

Demonstrators march and shout slogans on June 19 in protest of the Formula One Barcelona Fan Festival in downtown Barcelona. About 5srcsrc Barcelona residents protested mass tourism at an exhibition of the Formula One cars.
Demonstrators march and shout slogans on June 19 in protest of the Formula One Barcelona Fan Festival in downtown Barcelona. About 500 Barcelona residents protested mass tourism at an exhibition of the Formula One cars.

Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

The Washington Post reported that Barcelona Mayor Jaume Collboni has posted on X, formerly Twitter, that 10,000 residential units normally used for tourists will be reserved for local residents instead. He also reportedly vowed to increase taxes on tourism.

As the Post reported, the demonstration illuminates the strain of mass tourism on residents in popular tourist destinations, such as Japan, Indonesia and Italy.

The Tourism Observatory of Barcelona reported that the city hosted about 26 million tourists last year, who spent an estimated $10.4 billion.

Spanish citizens have held a few notable anti-tourism demonstrations in recent months. In April, about 57,000 people protested on the Canary Islands. In May, Palma de Mallorca saw about 10,000 demonstrators calling for curbs on tourism. Last month, about 15,000 people protested over-tourism in Malaga.

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