Barcelona's anti-tourism protesters launch beach demo to reclaim city from holidaymakers

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Dozens of angry demonstrators today filled the beach in Barcelona in an effort to take back the city from tourists they say are spoiling the Mediterranean destination.

Residents descended on the sands with protest boards reading “This is not a beach resort” and pitched up amid tourists relaxing by the sea or sleeping off the previous night’s excesses.

The protesters claim foreigners are behind a spike in rowdy behaviour in the tourist hotspot while holiday accommodation booked through sites such as Airbnb is driving up rents.

Some boarded rubber dinghies and unfurled banners proclaiming: “For the abolition of tourist apartments.”

Protest: Demonstrators blocked access to the waves (Reuters)

Others formed a human chain on the shoreline, blocking sunbathers’ view of the ocean and preventing people from reaching the water.

Barcelona, the capital of the Spanish province Catalonia, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, with tourism a huge driver of the city’s economy.

But many residents feel the advantages don’t outweigh the costs.

One protester told newspaper La Vanguardia: “My children had to move away, they can’t afford the sky-high rents.”


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