British press lists Spanish cities where UK tourists “may not be as welcome” this summer

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As the international tourism sector continues to grow, certain Spanish regions are feeling the strain, prompting calls for measures to manage the influx, especially directed towards UK tourists and visitors from places like France and Germany.

A recent report from ITV News lists several Spanish destinations where British tourists might find a less welcoming atmosphere this summer due to local resistance to mass tourism. The title: The pain in Spain: where are Brits not so welcome this summer? speaks volumes.

Rising tensions in tourist hotspots

The Canary Islands are highlighted as one area where British tourists might not be as warmly received. Recent movements such as “Canarias se agota” (The Canary Islands are running out) have gained momentum, with protests. Furthermore, even hunger strikes starting on April 12 in Tenerife to demand government action on the impacts of excessive tourism. This includes protests against new hotel constructions and other projects aimed at attracting more visitors. A significant demonstration is planned for April 20 across all eight islands, calling for urgent solutions to these ongoing issues.

Catalonia’s cooling welcome

Catalonia, especially Barcelona, is facing similar challenges. The region has seen measures such as restrictions on hotel capacities to preserve housing for locals and limits on cruise ship dockings at major ports to control the number of visitors. Additionally, the local government is considering restricting water consumption in hotels to 100 litres per tourist per day for three months to combat severe drought conditions. These measures reflect the growing concern over the impact of mass tourism on local resources and infrastructure.

Mallorca and Alicante implementing new rules

Mallorca, known for its vibrant nightlife and beach culture, has introduced rules to curb “drunk tourism,” aiming to transform its image and reduce disturbances caused by intoxicated tourists. As of May 10, the region has targeted large groups whose primary activity is drinking excessively in public areas. Similarly, Alicante has introduced stricter noise regulations in response to the influx of tourists, with hefty fines for those who violate these new rules.

A changing climate for tourism in Spain

These developments indicate a significant shift in how some Spanish regions are handling tourism, moving towards sustainable practices that prioritize local quality of life over tourism revenue. While tourism accounts for nearly 12% of Spain’s economy, the pushback from local communities has prompted a reassessment of how to balance economic benefits with social and environmental impacts. 

Also read: Tensions rise in Santiago de Compostela due to crowds of pilgrims

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