8 Jul, 2024 @ 12:15
2 mins read

WATCH: Angry protesters spray tourists in Barcelona with water pistols during Spain’s latest march against ‘overtourism’


Were you a tourist affected by the protests in Barcelona over the weekend? Get in touch: newsdesk@theolivepress.es

ANGRY anti-tourism protesters in Barcelona targeted foreigners with water pistols during a march on Saturday.

Aggressive demonstrators barricaded tourists into hotels and restaurants along their route down the hugely popular La Rambla street.

Others chanted ‘Tourists, go home’, while carrying placards with similar messages. 

But a small number wielded water pistols and squirted tourists while they were sitting at terraces along the central artery through the city’s old town.

Video footage showed tourists in shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops scurrying away from their tables while a group of girls sprayed them with water and shouted at them to ‘go home’.

READ MORE: Anti-tourism protests reach Barcelona: Thousands of locals take to the streets while ‘sealing off’ hotels and restaurants

Young women aim and fire at tourists sitting outside restaurants in Barcelona. Reuters

Other placards read ‘Barcelona is not for sale’ and ‘decrease tourism now’ among the nearly 3,000 residents who attended the protests.

But the aggressive actions against the city’s visitors were met with disapproval by Spaniards online.

“The anti-tourist demonstrations in Barcelona are stupid, especially considering that 99% of the young people protesting have travelled low cost around Europe,” wrote one X user from Barcelona.

“Throwing water on people who are eating, or barricading them into the restaurant? Lucky no one got punched.

READ MORE: WATCH: Shocking moment taxi driver reverses into tourists in Spain’s Barcelona before fleeing the scene

“You should go to the town hall to demonstrate, demand they control the number of Airbnbs, cruise ships, etc. Save your anger for them. 

“I am from Barcelona and I also travel through Europe. If someone throws water at me, they will be in trouble.”

The protesters were demanding action to be taken to curb the number of tourists in the city due to what they say are problems the sector causes, such as high property and rental prices, antisocial behaviour on the streets and overcrowding. 

“We want the city’s economic model to prioritise other much fairer economies,” said Marti Cuso, a spokesperson for the Gothic Quarter’s residents association. 

“And for that we consider that we have to decrease tourism,” he added, in comments reported by Euronews. 

Protest against tourism in Barcelona
Thousands of people protest in Barcelona against the city’s tourist overcrowding, demanding that measures be taken to stop a situation they consider unsustainable.

It comes as recent reports show that the cost of housing in Spain has increased by 68% over the past 10 years, while wages have barely moved.

According to property website Idealista, in cities such as Barcelona and Madrid rent surged by 18 per cent in June compared to a year earlier.

The Mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni announced in June that all short-term tourist lets would be phased out by 2028.

Similar protests have occurred in Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, and the Canary Islands, highlighting widespread discontent with tourism’s effects on local communities across Spain.

Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? walter@theolivepress.es

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