Barcelona residents protest unchecked growth of mass tourism

BARCELONA, Spain — Around a hundred Barcelona residents gathered on the Spanish city’s beach on Saturday to protest the unchecked growth of mass tourism to the popular vacation destination.

The protest was organized by a local residents’ group under the theme “Recover the beach for everyone!”

They say the influx of tourists has increased the price of rents and driven a spike in rowdy behaviour by party-seeking foreigners.

Tensions have been growing between authorities and radical leftist groups who launched a campaign of vandalism against mass tourism in Barcelona and other parts of Spain.

Spain, a country of 46 million, received 75.3 million tourists in 2016. The number of arriving tourists increased by 12 per cent in the first six months of this year.

Tourism accounts for 11 per cent of Spain’s gross domestic product.