17 Apr, 2024 @ 16:01
1 min read

Spain to investigate ‘anti-tourism’ among locals after wave of protests: Major survey will reveal how many people are REALLY critical of the industry

April 12, 2024, Barcelona, Spain: On this warm and sunny Saturday of April 13, people cool off at La Barceloneta beach in Barcelona. The Mediterranean city of Barcelona is expecting a record year in terms of tourist visits as social debate grows over the city's model of mass tourism. (Credit Image: © Jordi Boixareu/ZUMA Press Wire)

THE SPANISH government is set to conduct a public consultation on tourism, which has become a huge point of contention for the country. 

It will be carried out by Turespaña, Spain’s public tourism agency. 

The survey will focus on the social sustainability of tourism, including overcrowding and the negative impact of tourism growth. 

Due to be carried out this year, the government body aims to gather 26,000 local opinions using an online questionnaire. 

It will be divided into two 13,000 person waves and focus on 30 municipalities most affected by tourism, including Mallorca. 

READ MORE: Airbnb crackdown in Spain: Government wants to limit holiday flats in ‘saturated’ areas because they are ‘harming access to housing’ – following a wave of anti-tourism protests

Locals have long complained of overcrowding in tourist hotspots like Barcelona. Photo: Cordon Press

Deputy Director of Knowledge and Tourism Studies at Turespaña, Julio Lopez Astor, said: “Those that are against tourism make a lot of noise, but they aren’t necessarily the majority. 

“We’re looking for data to see if that’s true and find out the factors influencing this perception.

READ MORE: What’s behind the anti-tourism graffiti in Spain? Locals in Tenerife give their verdict as they insist ‘it’s nothing personal against tourists’

It’s essential that we understand this to manage Spain as a tourist destination. It could be that the outcome goes against tourism-phobia.” 

The consultation will take place in August, peak tourist time, and November, during the low season. 

It comes after waves of anti-tourism action across the country, including peaceful protests, graffiti, vandalism and posters designed to dissuade tourists from going to popular scenic areas.

READ MORE: ‘A tu puta casa!’: Anti-tourism arrives to Spain’s Costa del Sol with offensive stickers plastered outside Airbnbs in Malaga – as movement becomes more organised

Yzabelle Bostyn

After spending much of her childhood in Andalucia and adulthood between Barcelona and Latin America, Yzabelle has settled in the Costa del Sol to put her NCTJ & Journalism Masters to good use. She is particularly interested in travel, vegan food and has been leading the Olive Press Nolotil campaign. Have a story? email [email protected]

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