Anarchist threat to British holidaymakers in Europe as tourism row erupts

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Brits travelling to popular European holiday destinations have reportedly been warned to be vigilant after militants protesting against mass tourism promised more attacks.

The leader of a group of Spanish anarchists accused the travel industry of “destroying” Barcelona and the Balearic islands, and vowed direct action.

Travel operators have said the protests could escalate and pose a risk to holidaymakers, The Times reported.

This week, British tourists on a trip to Barcelona thought they were attacked by terrorists when masked men ambushed an open-top bus they were travelling on. 

Slogans were daubed on the vehicle’s windows and its tyres were slashed.

The same group later burst the tyres of bicycles rented by tourists and smashed windows in five-star hotels. 

The Catalonian pro-independence group, Arran, is protesting in Majorca as they say tourism ‘destroys Majorca and damns the Catalonian working class to poverty.’ (EPA)

Activists on the same day let off smoke bombs and smashed windows at a restaurant popular with tourists in Palma, Majorca.

They rolled out a banner that read: “Tourism is Killing Majorca.”

Laura Flores, 24, one of the leaders of the group, which is called Arran, told The Times: “We cannot rule out more attacks. There have been assaults in the past and there will be more in the future.”

Noel Josephides, chairman of Abta, the tour operators’ association, told the newspaper: “These protests are a wake-up call. It is a great shame but we will see more of them. 

“They are adopting dangerous tactics and that shouldn’t be happening. But the reason it is happening is because the local governments haven’t been listening or taking the overcrowding seriously. 

“The advice to tourists is use your common sense. Be vigilant and don’t go where there might be a risk.”

Activists in San Sebastian, northern Spain, are said to have called for a demonstration this month, sparking fears that the violence seen in Barcelona and Palma may spread.

Álvaro Nadal, Spain’s tourism minister, promised an inquiry into the attacks. 

He said: “We’re not going to tolerate this situation a single day longer… A minority can’t ruin the decades of prestige for our tourist industry, which is the most competitive in the world.”

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the protests and monitoring the situation. We are also in contact with the local authorities. There is no specific update to our travel guidance at the moment but we keep it under constant review.”

Anger towards mass tourism is also evident elsewhere.

Last month 2,000 people protested in Venice, Italy, against damage to the ancient city, which brings up to 70,000 visitors each day.

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