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Thousands march against mass tourism in Spain’s Balearic Islands as protesters take to streets of Mallorca and Menorca

In Europe
June 09, 2024

Thousands took to the streets in the Balearic Islands to protest against mass tourism and overcrowding this weekend.

Demonstrators marched through Menorca and Mallorca on Saturday in the latest protests over tourist “massification” across Spain’s island regions.

While tourism accounts for around 45% of the Balearic Islands’ gross domestic product, according to data from industry organisation Exceltur, demonstrators say holiday rentals are pricing locals out.

Carme Reines, from a collective which organised the protest in Palma de Mallorca, said: “We want the authorities to stop people who have not lived here more than five years from buying properties and to put more controls on holiday accommodation.”

Javier Carbonell, a real estate agent in Mallorca, added: “We want less mass tourism and more sustainable tourism.”

A Spanish National police spokesperson said around 10,000 people took part in the protest in Mallorca, while a few hundred marched in Menorca.

The Balearic Group of Ornithology and Nature Protection of Menorca (GOB Menorca) said on its website that it was protesting “the massification of tourism, the problem of access to housing, water management and the economic diversification of the island”.

In a post on social media, the group added the demonstrators turned Menorca’s Plaza de la Biosfera into a mock beachfront by turning up with deckchairs, towels and sunglasses.

It’s the latest in a string of protests on Spain’s islands against mass tourism.

The Menorca and Mallorca protests came at the same time as an anti-tourist march in Barcelona, and just a day after around 1,000 demonstrated in Ibiza.

Read more from Sky News:
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Rafael Gimenez, a spokesman for Prou Ibiza which organised Friday’s protest, said: “We want a limit on new tourist places and a ban on more illegal flats.

“With fewer flats around on the market, it pushes up the price.”

And in April, thousands protested against mass tourism across the Canary Islands to say the region is “not for sale”.

The islands’ president said at the time he felt “proud” the region is a leading Spanish tourism spot but acknowledged more controls are needed.

“We can’t keep looking away. Otherwise, hotels will continue to open without any control,” Fernando Clavijo told a news conference.

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