Anti-Tourist Protests Threaten to Disrupt Ibiza and Majorca Over Bank Holiday Weekend

Anti-Tourist Protests Threaten to Disrupt Ibiza and Majorca Over Bank Holiday Weekend

BRITS heading to Ibiza this bank holiday weekend may face significant disruption as anti-tourist protests are planned for the popular destination.

Hundreds of angry demonstrators have taken to the streets in the Spanish paradise to express their frustration, with others vowing to cause chaos at the busy Majorca airport.

Approximately 1,000 campaigners held up banners saying “We don’t want an island of cement” and “Tourism, yes but not like this” as they gathered outside Ibiza Council’s headquarters.

Anti-Tourist Protests Threaten to Disrupt Ibiza and Majorca Over Bank Holiday Weekend

Last night’s noisy protest in Ibiza town center occurred just hours before thousands more are expected to head to Palma this evening, in what could become the largest protest in the Canary Islands.

The primary focus of the march is the difficulty local people have in affording homes in Mallorca, either for rent or sale, due to the higher prices owners can get for holiday rentals.

However, protesters will also highlight other aspects of tourist saturation that they say are ruining Mallorca.

Last week, another group “Més turisme, menys vida” (“More tourism, less life”) announced plans to cause chaos at Palma Airport over the coming weekend to paralyze it.

Meanwhile, Brits on the other side of the island in San Antonio drank heavily and ignored a street drinking ban that could result in fines of up to £1,300.

The organizers of the Ibiza demo, a group called Prou Eivissa, met with Ibiza’s president Vicent Mari before taking to the streets. Their demands include a limit on the number of vehicles that can enter the island in summer and a ban on using taxpayers’ money to promote Ibiza as a tourist destination.

A letter was read out at the end of the protest from an Ibiza woman who left the island with her family due to a “destructive” tourist model that had led to “more cars, more tourists, and more incivility.”

In the run-up to yesterday evening’s protest, organizers said: “We are completely fed up with the failure to properly address the complaints of so many citizens about the nefast consequences of massive and selfish tourism which ignores the future of the island.

Anti-Tourist Protests Threaten to Disrupt Ibiza and Majorca Over Bank Holiday Weekend

“Our beautiful island is in danger. Tourist crowds not only affect our quality of life but also the beauty and authenticity that makes Ibiza such a special place. Tourist overcrowding makes the cost of living unattainable for many residents. We fight for an Ibiza where we can all live in dignity. It is time to raise our voices and protect our home.”

The protest was the first of its kind since April 20 when thousands in the Canary Islands took to the streets to demonstrate against mass tourism and demand actions from their politicians. Zealots in Tenerife held up banners saying “You enjoy we suffer” and “Tourism moratorium now.”

Local authorities reported that around 30,000 people participated in the demonstrations, while organizers claimed the figure was 80,000.

This evening, organizers Banc del Temps will stage a separate protest against “tourist overcrowding” in Majorca’s city center and airport. Campaigners will take to the streets with the slogan “Mallorca no se vende,” which translates to “Majorca is not for sale.”

The airport protest during the peak tourist season will involve disrupting Palma Airport with cars, causing mayhem for holidaymakers trying to start their vacations. The plans were discussed at a brainstorming session organized by the association Menys Turisme, which translates to “Less Tourism, More Life.”

Mass protests outside hotels and on beaches were also proposed at a citizens’ assembly attended by more than 300 people. Anti-tourist graffiti has appeared in both Majorca and Tenerife in recent months.

Some foreign holidaymakers have shown support for the campaigners’ issues, while others have accused them of biting the hand that feeds them.

A British tourist celebrating her birthday in San Antonio’s raucous West End told the Daily Mail that toughened-up regional government restrictions designed to promote responsible tourism were “stupid.”

These restrictions cover the party area as well as Magaluf’s party strip Punta Ballena and include a ban on street drinking and night-time closure orders for shops selling alcohol.

A Prou Eivissa spokesman told the paper: “We don’t want no tourism but we want a different tourism. We want some controls. We want our lovely island back.”

Ibiza is the latest Spanish destination to see demonstrations, following Tenerife and the other Canary Islands last month. Locals say there are too many cars on the roads, traffic congestion, overcrowded beaches, blocked access roads, ruined beauty spots, and just too many holiday-makers flocking to the island, which expects record numbers this summer.

Meanwhile, another holiday hotspot 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.”

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

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Pooja Chauhan

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