"Tourists Go Home!": Angry Mob Targets Tourists in Barcelona

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jul.08 - 2024 10:32 AM CET

Photo: The Telegraph on YouTube
Photo: The Telegraph on YouTube
Locals in Barcelona attacked tourists with water pistols as tensions reach a boiling point.

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Tourists enjoying a nice dinner in Barcelona, one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, have recently been attacked by locals as protests against overtourism in the city reach a boiling point.

Footage shared by the BBC on Monday showed visitors being squirted with water pistols by a large crowd, forcing them to pack up and leave popular restaurant areas.

Mass Protest

Around 2,800 locals participated in the protest, marching under slogans like “Enough! Let’s put limits on tourism” and holding banners declaring “Barcelona not for sale” and “Tourists go home.”

This demonstration follows recent announcements by city officials to increase daily tourist charges for the second time this year.

Starting in October, holidaymakers visiting the Catalonian city will see a hike in city taxes, which previously increased from €2.75 to €3.25 in April.

The new rate will be €4 per night, making a week-long stay in a five-star hotel cost a total of €52.50 in combined regional and city taxes.

A ban on holiday apartments is also set to take effect in 2028 as part of efforts to promote “quality tourism.”

Rising Tensions

The surge in tourism, with around 32 million visitors per year, has placed a strain on Barcelona's infrastructure and city services.

The increased tourist charges aim to raise annual income from €95 million to €115 million, funding improvements to cope with the growing demand.

Barcelona’s actions mirror similar measures in other European tourist hotspots.

Venice recently imposed a €5 entry fee for day-trippers.

Further north, discussions are ongoing in the UK about introducing tourist taxes in regions like Cornwall, Devon, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Bournemouth. Manchester implemented a £1 per night tourist tax last year, expected to generate £3 million annually.

Portugal’s Portimão is also considering a tourist tax to raise funds for the city.