Around a hundred Barcelona residents gathered on Saturday along the Spanish city’s beach to protest the unchecked growth of mass tourism to the popular vacation destination.
They argue that the influx of tourists has increased the cost of rent, thereby driving longtime residents out of the city centre, and leading to a spike in rowdy behaviour by party-seeking foreigners.
Many of the protestors from the city’s waterfront neighbourhood of Barceloneta wore yellow T-shirts bearing the slogan “Barceloneta isn’t for sale” in Catalan.
Some staked homemade signs in the sand, including a large one that read in English “My home is not your home”.
The protest was organised by a local residents’ group under the theme “Recover the beach for everyone!”
Tourism accounts for 11 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product. Last year, more than 75 million tourists visited Spain. The number of tourists coming to Spain increased by 12 percent in the first six months of this year.