Locals in Spanish seaside destination have message for vacationers: ‘Go residence’

Barcelona residents are saying sufficient to the mass quantities of vacationers pouring into the highest destination metropolis alongside Spain’s northeastern coastline and have known as on officers to take counteractive measures. 

As vacationer charges as soon as once more close to pre-pandemic ranges, locals are pushing again with indicators studying, “Go home” and “Tourism kills neighborhoods” sprawling throughout metropolis districts, together with main sightseeing areas just like the La Rambla boulevard and town’s opera home, reported Reuters Friday. 

The push to restrict the variety of vacationers in a position to pour into the Mediterranean metropolis, notably by cruise ship, comes as Spaniards gear up for native and regional elections set for Sunday. 

A person ties protest banners in the balcony of a constructing that was lately transformed for vacationer use at Sants neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain, May 19, 2023. The banner reads, “No more tourist flats.”  (REUTERS/Albert Gea)


“We like tourism, to have visitors, but tourist overcrowding triggers problems of mobility, speculation and gentrification that put our local way of life at risk. Therefore, we have to regulate it,” Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau instructed Reuters.

The far-left mayor, who’s looking for a 3rd time period, has made regulating tourism a cornerstone of her marketing campaign as the difficulty has politically taken off throughout the nation. 

Barcelona port

Tourists queue on the passenger terminal for onward journey on the Barcelona Cruise Terminal of the Port of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday, June 25, 2022. In an announcement this month, the regional authorities of Catalonia stated it will quickly introduce measures meant to restrict liners arriving at its port, which was Europe’s busiest cruise terminal earlier than the pandemic. Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg by way of Getty Images (Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg by way of Getty Images)

Though the tourism trade accounted for some 12% of Spain’s financial system in 2019 earlier than the nation noticed huge lockdowns and journey restrictions, some want to see tourism higher managed by limiting the variety of cruise ships that may cease in the port metropolis, stripping licenses from flats and retailers directed at vacationers, or by changing some resorts into low-cost housing.

tourists Barcelona

A pair take selfies in a crowed Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, May 24, 2023.  (REUTERS/Albert Gea)


Barcelona is Spain’s second-largest metropolis, with 1.6 million inhabitants as of 2019, although it noticed some 30 million guests that very same yr, together with day trippers, who usually cease off as cruise ships dock for the day.

Spain was the second most visited nation in Europe behind France forward of COVID lockdowns. 

Beach in Barcelona, Spain

Barceloneta seaside, on August 5, 2021, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. (Photo By David Zorrakino/Europa Press by way of Getty Images) (Photo By David Zorrakino/Europa Press by way of Getty Images)

After the coronavirus swept the globe, metropolis authorities took the chance to market Barcelona as a high-end tourist destination identified for its gastronomic points of interest, in a push to prioritize high quality over amount – a transfer that residents favored over the swarming crowds.

But conventional tourism has once again ramped up with a 41% improve in guests to town in the primary quarter of 2023, in comparison with 2022.

One professional, Gemma Canoves, a geography professor at Barcelona’s Autonomous University, instructed Reuters that the modifications in the variety of vacationers visiting Barcelona throughout the first quarter may very well be as a consequence of exterior elements like guests seeking to keep away from sweltering temperatures and water shortages as local weather change continues to be an growing downside. 

Cruise ships barcelona

People wait for taxis after disembarking from the Wonder of the Seas cruise ship operated by Royal Caribbean International on the Terminal C of Barcelona’s harbour on July 24, 2022.  (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP by way of Getty Images)


Barcelona’s mayor has set to make sure guests who’re in the coastal metropolis that it nonetheless welcomes vacationers, however that guests must be higher managed for the good thing about town and its residents.

“We welcome tourism, but we need to grow other strategic sectors,” she stated.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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