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Tourists in Barcelona attacked by locals: Details

Tourists in Barcelona attacked by locals: Details Illustrative photo (Getty Images)
Author: Maria Kholina

Anti-tourism protests are taking place in Barcelona. Local demonstrators are concerned about the negative impact of tourism on their city.

Why tourists are not welcome in Barcelona

Over the weekend, in the heart of one of Spain's most popular tourist cities, around three thousand furious protesters sprayed foreigners... with water guns.

The demonstration was accompanied by demands for tourists to "go home." Banners also read, "Barcelona is not for sale."

The primary targets were tourists peacefully dining on the terraces of cozy Barcelona restaurants—protesters approached them closely and generously doused them with water.

So, why are tourists so disliked by the locals? The fact is that the number of new buildings in the city has been rapidly increasing over the past ten years, while working conditions have deteriorated.

Additionally, due to the large influx of foreigners, rental prices have risen by 18% over the past year.

Moreover, Barcelona's mayor, Jaume Collboni, announced in June of this year that all short-term rentals will be completely banned by 2028.

Meanwhile, prices for food and essential goods are also sharply increasing.

Туристів хочуть вигнати з Барселони. Місцеві провокують іноземців у незвичний спосіб: про що мова

Barcelona boycotts against tourists (photo: Getty Images)

Naturally, this has caused dissatisfaction among the local population.

"Local shops are closing down. People can't afford the rent," says local resident Isa Miralles.

"I have nothing against tourism, but here in Barcelona, we suffer from an excess of tourism, which has made our city unlivable," adds Barcelona sociologist Jordi Guiu.

How will the authorities address this issue?

Recently, the Spanish government announced stricter regulation of the short-term and seasonal rental housing sector.

This move was in response to the growing discontent of city residents, where tourism has led to significant increases in rental prices and the displacement of locals from the market. Apart from Barcelona, this also concerns the Canary Islands and Malaga.

Consumer Protection Minister Pablo Bustinduy stated that the authorities will check listings on platforms like Airbnb,, and others to ensure they have licenses.

According to him, listings for unlicensed properties will be removed, and their owners may face penalties.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez previously announced the creation of a register of rental properties for vacations. This register is intended to help the government limit the number of listings and better control the activities of property owners.

Housing Minister Isabel Rodriguez reported that the register will not be ready before the end of 2025. After its creation, online booking platforms will be required to provide data on property owners to verify if they have the right to rent out properties.