Barcelona Locals Sprayed Tourists With Water Guns in a Mass Protest

by Admin
Barcelona Locals Sprayed Tourists With Water Guns in a Mass Protest

Jet-setters have made a splash in Spain.

Over the weekend, protesters in Barcelona went after visitors with water guns, as a way to express their anger with over-tourism, CBS News reported on Tuesday.

Thousands of people took to the streets in the Spanish city on Saturday, with some using water guns to spray diners in the La Barceloneta neighborhood. Some people were forced to move tables at various restaurants to avoid the protesters. The demonstrators also symbolically taped off some venues.

“I have nothing against tourism, but here in Barcelona we are suffering from an excess of tourism that has made our city unlivable,” one protester said, according to CBS News.

Last year, more than 12 million people visited Barcelona, the outlet said, citing local data. This year, from January through May, more than 33 million people have visited Spain as a whole, up 13.6 percent compared with the same period last year, according to numbers from the country’s national statistics office. In part thanks to increased tourism, housing costs have risen 68 percent in Barcelona over the past decade, CBS News wrote.

Jaume Collboni, the mayor of Barcelona, has said that by 2028 he’s planning to no longer renew the tourist licenses that allow landlords to rent to foreign visitors. Those homes, then, would become available to residents, rather than those searching for accommodations on websites like Airbnb.

“The last years, the city has turned completely for tourists, and what we want is a city for citizens and not in service of tourists,” one of the protesters said over the weekend.

These sorts of demonstrations have been taking place all over Spain, which has become a tourist hot spot of late. Last month, 15,000 people protested against over-tourism in Málaga, while more than 10,000 people in Palma de Mallorca took to the streets in May.

And Spain isn’t the only country trying to figure out how to rein in tourism: Venice, Italy, is now charging a fee for day-trippers, and locals there have been vocal about how the city has changed due to the increased number of visitors. Amsterdam, meanwhile, is banning new hotels from being built in the city to cut down congestion and improve livability.

Given that we’re in the peak of the summer travel season, it’s unclear how well these policies will work, though—at least in the short term.

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