Barcelona, Spain’s most visited city, saw over 3,000 people take to the streets on Saturday evening to protest against mass tourism, according to local authorities. The demonstrations, which

included more than 150 organizations and social movements, aimed to highlight the impacts of tourist overcrowding on the city.

Protesters chanted slogans such as "tourists, go home" and symbolically blocked hotels and restaurant terraces. This protest comes in the wake of similar movements in the Canary Islands and Mallorca, underscoring a growing discontent across popular tourist destinations in Spain.

Martí Cusó, spokesperson for the Association of Neighbours of the Gothic Quarter and a vocal opponent of tourist overcrowding, emphasized the need for Barcelona’s economic model to prioritize fairer economies. "We want to reduce tourism to achieve this," Cusó stated.

Barcelona hosts an average of 32 million visitors annually, a number that strains local infrastructure and contributes to rising housing costs due to speculation and the conversion of residential properties into tourist accommodations. In response, the city council has approved measures like increasing tourist taxes and plans to phase out approximately 10,000 tourist flat licenses over the next five years.

These actions reflect a broader global trend where cities are grappling with the socio-economic impacts of mass tourism, seeking to balance economic benefits with the preservation of local identity and quality of life. Photo by xlibber, Wikimedia commons.