The Spaniards and Italians revolt against a crowd of tourists

first_imgA wave of anti-tourism sentiment has swept Mediterranean countries this summer, and the World Tourism Organization (WTO) says the problem needs to be taken seriously. Business diary.The center of the anti-tourism mood is currently Spain, which was visited by a record 75,6 million tourists last year, but the negative sentiment is also noticeable in Italy. Tensions have been rising in Barcelona for years due to the growing number of unregistered tourists and the impact of apartment rental websites, such as Airbnb, on the local real estate market. Of the 16.000 legal apartments in Barcelona, ​​another 7000 are believed to be illegal. Tensions escalated this summer when activists from Arran, a youth branch of the left-wing Candidacy for National Unity (CUP), began actions to damage tourist buses and rental bicycles.A spokesman for Arran explained to the British BBC that the current model of tourism is forcing downtown residents to relocate to the periphery and damaging the environment. By the way, the Spanish government characterized the group as “extremist”. However, protests against the current dominant model of tourism have also been recorded in northern Spain in Oviedo and San Sebastian, but also in the tourist mecca of Mallorca. Another protest has been announced in San Sebastian for August 17th when the city hosts the Semana Grande – the largest festival of Basque culture.20 million tourists a year visit Venice, a city of 55.000 inhabitantsAnger is boiling on the other side of the Adriatic as well. A protest was held in Venice last month, gathering about 2000 people. The protest drew attention to the problem of rising real estate prices and the impact of large cruisers on the lagoon’s sensitive environment. By the way, Venice – a city of only 55.000 inhabitants – is visited by 20 million tourists a year, so in June the city authorities announced a ban on building new hotels in the old part of the city.Estimates say that the center of Venice will be left without permanent residents by 2030 if the current pace of construction of accommodation units continues. In an interview with The Guardian, UNWTO leader Taleb Raifi pointed out that the growth of anti-tourism sentiment is a very serious situation that needs to be seriously addressed. If managed properly, tourism can be the “best ally” to the local community and the preservation of cultural heritage, Raifi added. Duncan McCann of the New Economics Foundation believes the rise of Airbnb is responsible, followed by short, two-day city visits and an increase in interest in cruises. For this reason, most tourists stay only in the city center where the main attractions are.last_img

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