10 May, 2024 @ 13:32
1 min read

Anti-tourism protests move to Ibiza: Activists plan huge march at end of May – these are their demands

Passengers wearing face covering queue to check in their luggages at the Iberia desk in Ibiza international airport, Spain, where the tourism industry has been hit hard by the latest 14-day quarantine requirement by the British government for all tourists that travel from Spain because of its high levels of COVID-19 cases. Picture date: Saturday August 1, 2020.

AN activist group called Prou Ibiza has called a demonstration on the Balearic island for May 24, in order to protest against mass tourism and to ??call for the authorities to take action to alleviate the problems it brings with it. 

The move comes in the wake of similar demonstrations in the Canary Islands just a few weeks ago, which even saw activists going on a hunger strike in a bid to get their voices heard.

Prou Ibiza announced the 8pm protest via social media, pointing to the ‘urgent need to create and apply a law that will limit the entry of vehicles’ into Ibiza.

A similar system already exists in the neighbouring Balearic island of Formentera. 

The organisation is also calling for a ‘raft of measures’, including ‘incentives for hotels to reduce hotel beds, as well as new protection measures for residents and a crackdown on illegal offers’. 

Read more: ‘We’re not coming back’: British tourists blast drink prices in Mallorca for being ‘much more expensive’ following the Covid pandemic

Tourists waiting to check in at Ibiza airport in a file photo from 2020.

The platform added that there was a ‘fundamental need to achieve a balance between residents and tourists, and that is why we believe that the legitimate expression of the people of Ibiza can guarantee a sustainable future for all’. 

Prou Ibiza called on ‘families, young people, adults and everyone who appreciates a respectful life and wants to be treated with respect, to attend [the demonstration], so that the authorities begin to truly feel the pressure that is making us say: Ibiza can’t take any more!’

The local council on the island of Ibiza is, meanwhile, already preparing a system to control access via car. 

Figures from 2023, however, show the extent of the problem on the island. The results of a Tourism Barometer, as reported by Diario de Ibiza, showed that 42% of Spanish visitors to the island in the months of July and August last year stayed in either illegal holiday rentals, or in the homes of friends or relatives. 

As well as the demonstrations, there has been a spate of anti-tourism graffiti in Spain over recent months. Dozens of offensive signs against visitors were plastered across Barcelona last summer, including one that read “Tourist go home, we spit in your beer.”

In Marbella, meanwhile, a series of cars with British numberplates were vandalised with spraypaint over last year’s summer season. 

And on the Balearic Island of Mallorca, an assembly dubbed ‘Menys Turisme, Més Vida’ (Less Tourism, More Life) has been called for May 17 at 6.30pm in the Sineu Institute, and is open to individuals, community groups, and organisations who want to debate the issue. 

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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