4 May, 2024 @ 14:05
4 mins read

Tourists in Spain are accused of ‘taking all the bus seats’ and ‘forcing elderly to stand’ as flashpoints emerge – but some locals are fed-up of ‘xenophobic’ and ‘aggressive’ anti-tourism movement

FLASHPOINTS between tourists and locals are emerging on social media after holidaymakers were accused of ‘taking all the seats’ of a bus in Andalucia.

A photo shared by the Albazyn_Habitable campaign group in Granada shows an elderly woman and other people standing in a packed out bus.

The caption reads: “The bus filled with sitting tourists and the old people from the neighbourhood standing.

“Unfortunately, this scene is repeated almost daily and is complicated because the urban buses are full and the elderly people struggle to stay standing up.”

READ MORE: British expat joins protests against tourism in Spain – but insists there’s ‘no beef’ against holidaymakers

Granada locals blast tourists for ‘taking all the seats on the bus’ and ‘forcing elderly locals to stand’ (CREDIT: Instagram)

It comes as a separate anti-tourism campaign on the Canary Islands has been branded ‘xenophobic’ and ‘aggressive’ by locals who say leaders of the movement are becoming ‘more and more unbearable’.

A series of posters shared on Instagram show a string of expletive-laden messages written in English on postcard-style backgrounds.

The graphics were shared by the hey.millennial Instagram page in February, which is curated and run by a graphic designer from the Canary Islands.

This week they were re-shared by Albazyn_Habitable group, which was set up this week to fight ‘mass tourism’ in the city of Granada.

One poster reads: “It could be my house but it’s your f***ing Airbnb,” while another says, “the fact that you arrive forces us to leave.”

Another poster says: “It’s my home not your f***ing amusement park,” while another reads, “It’s my heritage not your f***ing photocall.”

While many comments supported the designs for ‘saying what we are all feeling’, there were just as many criticising them.

One commenter said in Spanish: “The message is too aggressive and badly directed. The tourists are not to blame, it’s a question of our politics.”

Another agreed, saying ‘words like f***ing are pretty aggressive’, while one simply said: “People from the Canaries are becoming more and more unbearable.”

In one impassioned post, a local said: “The guiris are not to blame at all, the majority of them are normal people who come here to relax and they don’t buy homes to rent them out nor destroy the environment…

Protests against tourism in the Canary Islands
Last month’s protests against tourism in the Canary Islands (Credit: X (Twitter), Willy Veleta)

“In fact, they go to restaurants, bars, clubs, cultural areas and tourist hotspots that would be closed if it wasn’t for them.”

The local added: “I’m not saying that the tourism model is perfect or ideal, but it appears to me that this post, with strong words like f***ing, we are throwing rocks at our own roof and attacking a group that has no bad intentions or blame for what is happening.

“The blame for what is happening is on the politicians… for the lack of laws and regulations and some of the people here who are only interested in making themselves rich.”

The ‘anti-tourism’ movement in Spain appears to be growing by the day following the historic demonstrations in the Canary Islands last month – which saw 60,000 people take to the streets demanding change.

Granada is one of the latest cities to join the fray, with locals on social media this week complaining their streets are inundated with tourists ‘day and night’.

The city is nestled in the heart of Andalucia, the southernmost region, and is home to the Alhambra Palace, the most visited site in the country.

However locals from the historic neighbourhood below the palace have now set up a social media page to blast the ‘tourist invasion’, which they claim has made the area ‘unliveable’.

Recent graffiti spotted in Granada in Andalucia (COPYRIGHT OLIVE PRESS SPAIN)

The newly-created Albayzin Habitable page reads: “Join us… we are protesting against the limitless tourist invasion… for a liveable neighbourhood and city.”

The first video on the page shows groups of unsuspecting tourists being filmed as they take in the city’s sights.

One local commented: “From dawn until dask,” while another added: “The goose with the golden eggs… they thought we were sleeping.

“The abuse and crossing of limits is bringing a revolution. This neighbourhood is ours, it always has been and we have always had visitors.

“But when the balance is unequal, watch out!”

Meanwhile, graffiti in the city can be seen reading: “@tourist: don’t buy culture,” with the words “f**k Airbnb” scrawled below.

It comes as a huge protest is being planned by ‘fed-up’ locals in Malaga, – a two-hour drive away on the Costa del Sol – who say they are tired of ‘over tourism, s**t salaries and property exploitation.’

Video of tourists shared by a new ‘anti-tourism’ Instagram page in Granada showing a broken-heart emoji

In a post on Instagram, a tenant support organisation in the city set the date for the ‘big demonstration’ as June 29.

It follows an enormous similar protest in the Canary Islands last month, which saw more than 60,000 take to the streets.

The organisation, Sindicato de Inquilinas de Malaga, wrote on Instagram: “Malaga has become an unliveable city for those of us who live in it. IT’S OVER! WE WANT A MALAGA TO LIVE AND NOT TO SURVIVE.”

Malaga city (Copyright Olive Press Spain)

It added: “The problem is well known: touristification and plundering of the territory, exploitation of housing, work and life. S**t salaries, s**t cohabitation and s**t rents. We are clear: IF I CAN’T PAY I WILL NOT PAY!

“We know that there are many of us who are fed up and determined to defend a friendly, livable city, THE CITY OF THE LOCALS!”

“On JUNE 29, the Malaga Tenants Union calls for a GREAT PROTEST for decent housing and against the processes of touristification and impoverishment of life. On JUNE 29, it all begins.”

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

GOT A STORY? Contact [email protected] or call +34 951 273 575 Twitter: @olivepress

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