Already plagued by long security queues at airports, holidaymakers visiting top destinations in Spain face more vacation woes once they arrive. Anti-tourism activists have been targeting Barcelona, Majorca, Valencia and San Sebastián with protests – some of them involving violence. The goal seems to be to rail against the negative impact of mass tourism on local life and living standards.
In Barcelona, which welcomes some 32m visitors annually, a sightseeing bus was attacked at the end of July as it arrived at FC Barcelona’s iconic Camp Nou stadium. Masked assailants slashed the tyres and daubed graffiti on the sides of the bus.
They sprayed the message (in Catalan) “tourism kills neighbourhoods” in orange paint on the windscreen. Passengers, including several Britons, said they initially thought they were under attack from terrorists. Elsewhere in the city, bicycles rented out to tourists have been vandalised and rendered unusable.