House-to-house hunt for ‘illegal’ visitors & ‘fascist’ list of foreigners…fury over holiday hotspot’s anti-tourism plans

A HOLIDAY hotspot has sparked fury over its anti-tourism plans, which include hunting “illegal” visitors and a “fascist” list of foreigners.

Residents and businesses in Girona, Spain, argue they have reached their limit with “overtourism” and called for urgent measures as “it is already too late”.

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The Spanish city of Girona might be implementing controversial anti-tourism measuresCredit: Getty
Anti-tourist graffiti have been appearing across Spanish territories

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Anti-tourist graffiti have been appearing across Spanish territoriesCredit: Rex
Furious locals took to the streets to protest against their home being 'overcrowded with tourists'

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Furious locals took to the streets to protest against their home being ‘overcrowded with tourists’Credit: Getty

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Locals in the Catalan town proposed increasing the number of patrols to find illegal tourist apartments and creating a list of all foreign residents living in Girona.

Announcing the proposals on Thursday, locals have also come together to form the “Plataforma pel decreixement turísic Girona”, a platform aiming to get their voices heard and pressure public bodies to take action.

The controversial plans have left many expats fuming, with some slamming the proposals as “fascist”.

One user said: “Far right nationalism in Girona. Looks like populism is taking a hold even in traditionally left leaning liberal areas.”

A second added: “List of foreign residents? What has that got to do with tourism? Sounds a bit fascist to me.”

Another replied: “Scratch Girona from my list of places to visit.”

Activists for the anti-tourism plans argued that one of their major concerns is the emergence of “elitist ghetto areas” that drive out people who can’t afford the rising expense of living in favour of tourists.

They said: “The tourist monoculture has been good business for a few, but a death sentence for the locals.”

Protesters argued that controlling rental costs and the number of tourist units is also not enough, reports local news outlet Catalan News.

Hols warning as Mallorca plans to hit cruise tourists with Venice-style BAN
Anti-tourist graffiti in Guell Park in Barcelona

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Anti-tourist graffiti in Guell Park in BarcelonaCredit: EPA
Thousands of holidaymakers flock to coastal Spain and its islands every summer

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Thousands of holidaymakers flock to coastal Spain and its islands every summerCredit: Alamy
Residents in Girona now want to implement a list including all foreign residents

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Residents in Girona now want to implement a list including all foreign residentsCredit: Alamy

Jordi Mateu, a spokesperson for the new platform, slammed the “mass arrival” of expats in Girona.

He claimed that although they are well off and able to afford more housing, they are cut off from the neighborhood’s social network.

Bike tourism is another issue that has drawn criticism from activists.

They claim that Girona has had a massive influx of international residents in recent years drawn by the city’s “excellent” cycling conditions.

A University of Girona study estimates that 40,000 cyclists visited the city in 2018, contributing an estimated €89 million to the local economy.

Since the pandemic, the cyclo-tourism sector has grown steadily, Catalan News reports.

Girona is home to several elite cyclists as well as newcomers who have established companies ranging from bike cafes to tour operators.

Yet, protesters claim that many local businesses have closed as a result.

It comes after warnings that anti-tourism protests might spark a travel mayhem in Majorca with locals threatening to collapse the island’s busy airport.

HOLS TRAVEL CHAOS

Activists warned of an “intense summer” as they schemed to block the international airport in Palma.

The ploy involves causing traffic gridlock and massing cars outside of one of the busiest airports in Europe during the peak summer months.

More than 300 people applauded the idea at the brain-storming session, organised by Association Menys Turisme, Mes Vida – translated as “Less Tourism, More Life”.

Although the proposed demo hasn’t been set in stone yet, the activists discussed legal repercussions they might face if they were to go ahead.

The campaigners showed they were serious about the airport protests as they suggested setting up a fund to pay potential fines levied by the authorities.

The activists also put forward a plan to flock to the island hotels in a bid to disrupt holidaymakers and make their demands heard.

‘GO HOME’

Anti-tourist graffiti has recently been popping up across the island, saying “Tourists Go Home”.

The latest tourist-phobic writing was scrawled in English over a wall in a Majorcan neighbourhood which saw an influx of foreign buyers.

An organisation called Banc del Temps will march with residents under the slogan “Mallorca no se vende” – Spanish for “Majorca is not up for sale.”

Furious Ibiza locals have echoed similar complaints as they prepare to take to the streets to protest against Brit revellers.

On April 20, huge fury-filled protests were staged across the Canary Islands in a bid to crackdown on cheap tourism and particularly boozy Brits.

Residents said they are “fed up” with “low quality” Brits who only come for the cheap beer, burgers and sunbathing.

Recently, locals have slammed near-naked tourists strolling around Majorca and asked for them to be arrested.

Activists are threatening to collapse Palma's busy airport

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Activists are threatening to collapse Palma’s busy airportCredit: Splash News

Anti-tourist measures sweeping hotspots

A WAVE of anti-tourist measures are being implemented across Europe to curb mass tourism in popular holiday hotspots.

Overcrowding has become the main problem in many sunny destinations, with authorities trying to find a solution to keep tourists and locals happy.

Officials have attempted to reduce the impact of holidaymakers by implementing additional taxes on tourists, or banning new hotels.

Earlier this year Venice became the first city in the world to charge an entry fee for holidaymakers after it started charging day-trippers €5 (£4.30) if visiting the historical Italian centre.

It was followed by an area in Barcelona which resorted to removing a well-used bus route from Apple and Google Maps to stop crowds of tourists from using the bus.

 Meanwhile, San Sebastián in the north of Spain, limited the maximum number of people on guided visits to 25 to avoid congestion, noise, nuisance and overcrowding.

The city has already banned the construction of new hotels.

The Spanish government has allowed restaurants to charge customers more for sitting in the shade in Andalucia.

Benidorm has introduced time restrictions, as swimming in the sea between midnight and 7am could cost a whopping £1,000.

The Canary Islands are also considering adopting measures to regulate the number of visitors – and charge tourists a daily tax.

Greece has already enforced a tourist tax during the high season (from March to October) with visitors expected to pay from €1 (£0.86) to €4 (£3.45) per night, depending on the booked accommodation.

Officials in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia want to introduce a fee for travellers to remind people to be courteous during their trips.

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