Published On: Tue, Jul 9th, 2024
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Tourists urged to visit ‘beautiful’ Spanish city and avoid ‘frontline’ | World | News

British tourists are being urged to visit a Spanish city over Barcelona to avoid being on the frontline of anti-tourism protests.

Earlier this month, footage of tourists being sprayed with water by anti-tourism protesters in the Catalan city went viral.

It comes as tensions between towns and tourists continue to spiral as locals protest against – and campaign for – restrictions on the number of tourists entering their towns and cities.

Barcelona has become one of the epicentres of this anger and discontent with hundreds of locals marching through the streets and new pieces of legislation being written to clamp down on tourists.

Writing in the Telegraph, Nick Trend recommended Valencia as an alternative to Barcelona, highlighting it as a “far more attractive destination” that receives far fewer tourists than its larger rival. Mr Trend commented that “few of us want to spend our holidays in places where we are likely to be on the frontline”.

Valencia is one of the premier travel destinations in Spain, just an hour from the country’s capital Madrid, there is plenty in the city to entice travellers and visitors alike. This includes the Cathedral of Valladolid, the Plaza de San Pablo, and an annual International Film Festival.

While travellers may be put off travelling to Barcelona and other parts of Spain such as Majorca, their absence could come as some relief to locals whose patience with their presence has been lost.

Earlier this year, people began taking to Reddit to express their displeasure on the anonymous social media channel, complaining about the impact of tourism on their city.

One person wrote: “Barcelona has become an amusement park made for tourists. Everything’s overpriced, when you go to class or work you have to avoid distracted tourists who randomly stop to take a picture all the time of the day, week or year.”

A second added: “I was born and raised in Barcelona, but I no longer live there. I didn’t remember how bad it was until I went to visit my family last summer.

“Me and some friends went to walk around the centre and the girl that took our orders at Pans & Company (a Spanish bakery chain) didn’t even know Spanish or Catalan, only English.”

Following years of complaints, the local government in Barcelona has decided to take action. Last month, the city’s mayor Jaume Collboni announced that the city will revoke licences for 10,101 apartments in the city.

In a statement, Mr Collboni said the reclaimed apartments would be used to help solve a housing crisis and make properties more affordable for local people.

He said: “We are confronting what we believe is Barcelona’s largest problem. Those 10,000 apartments will be used by the city’s residents or will go on the market for rent or sale.

“No tourist flat in Barcelona. We will recover the current 10,101 homes. We improve the 30 percent rule to make the promotion of affordable housing in the city effective.

“Administration, society and the real estate sector must join forces to protect the right to housing.”

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