'Tourists go home': Spain tourism surge brings backlash
Author Message
Flavius
Offline
Vae Victis



Helvetia

Posts: 359
Joined: Sep 2015
Reputation: 27
Post: #1
'Tourists go home': Spain tourism surge brings backlash
[Image: ?m=02&d=20160530&t=2&...XNPEC4T05R]

On the walls of the grand old houses of this Balearic port which attracts millions of foreigners every year, a new kind of graffiti has flourished: "Tourists go home".

Although still a minority protest, it points to tensions in Palma de Mallorca and elsewhere in Spain over rising numbers of visitors who are propelling the economy but also disrupting the lives of locals and straining services from transport to water.

With tourism accounting for 12 percent of economic output and 16 percent of jobs, Spain can ill afford a backlash.

Long a popular beach destination, this year Spain is drawing record numbers of visitors who are shunning destinations where security is a concern, notably Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey.

The surge has helped the country recover from recession and alleviate a jobs crisis. But, for many Spaniards, the jump in tourism has a downside.

"They want to turn us into a theme park, a place you close the doors on at night because no-one lives there," said Luis Clar, who heads an association in the La Seu neighborhood of Palma de Mallorca, home to its main monuments.

Here the city council has recently banned parking near the sandstone cathedral, where vehicles on its sea-facing esplanade were deemed an eyesore.

But losing that parking space has forced many families living in the area's narrow alleys to park much further afield or spend hours circling, Clar said. Most streets are narrow and often filled with sightseers. One couple had recently left the area as a result, Clar said.

In the Balearics off Spain's eastern Mediterranean coast, nearly a third of employment depends on the sector. It accounts for nearly half the economic output, more than in any other region. The local economy has just recovered to its pre-crisis level after a five-year downturn.

Yet unease over the boom is spreading among the population.

In drought-prone island Ibiza water reserves are getting tight and in rural Menorca fears are mounting that natural beauty-spots risk being spoiled.

On one day last August, the population across the Balearics nearly doubled, reaching a record 2 million.

The latest data from March shows visitors to the archipelago were up nearly 50 percent from 2015 in that month alone, swelled by arrivals from Britain in particular. All-inclusive holidays for the peak summer months are selling out.

FINITE RESOURCES?

In Palma, residents know there are days to avoid the city center, especially when cruise ships carrying thousands of passengers mass in the harbor, and some worry entire neighborhoods will turn into holiday lets.

Similar concerns led to angry protests in Barcelona two years ago, where residents in beachfront areas rallied against the rise in drunk and disorderly holidaymakers that coincided with a blossoming trade in tourist apartments.

For Gaspar Alomar, a temporary worker in a bookshop in one of Palma's medieval quarters, the recent spate of anti-tourist graffiti in the city has at least appeared to stoke a debate over whether this type of growth is desirable.

"The resources we have are finite, it's logical that there should be a finite number of people coming," 30-year-old Alomar said. "If we build our whole economy around tourism we'll have nothing to hold onto if trends change, in the long run it's not sustainable."

In some respects local authorities are leaning if not toward limiting tourism, at least toward controlling it.

Next year the smallest of the Balearics' four main islands, Formentera, could introduce taxes on cars entering the area, and the region is looking into capping accommodation for tourists, said Biel Barcelo, the local tourism minister.

TOURISM TAX

In July, the left-wing government in charge of the archipelago since 2015 will bring in a tourism tax of up to 2 euros for overnight stays, though measures such as these have also sparked an outcry among travel firms and hoteliers.

"We already live well enough from tourism - we should not be demanding a top-up," said Monica Garcia, a worker at the small Ritzi guesthouse in central Palma.

Hotel groups have warned it could hurt revenues in the long run, and dismay at any attempts to curb tourism is also evident among many people who depend on the trade in Mallorca, from taxi drivers to souvenir sellers.

Barcelo argued improved regulation and planning - from more efforts to attract visitors out of season to better management of the glut of visitors disembarking all at once from cruise ships - would help protect the industry from the risk of a backlash if residents become overwhelmed.

The tax, he said, aims to raise between 50 million and 70 million euros ($78 million) a year mainly for environmental projects.

"The tourism sector should be the first to want to ensure there is no backlash," Barcelo said. "We want to keep living off tourism and we need to make it sustainable for the next 30 or 40 years."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-...SKCN0YL0EZ
2016 May 30 19:46
Like PostLIKE REPLY
The following 1 user Likes Flavius's post:
Artturi (30-05-2016)
Osweo
Offline
Member



England

Posts: 2.886
Joined: Mar 2012
Reputation: 905
Post: #2
RE: 'Tourists go home': Spain tourism surge brings backlash
Retarded headline. It's a specific issue for the Balearics, and the particular type of tourism that has been fostered there. A law and order issue, really. And who would do graffiti like that, except some idiot young teenagers who sponge off their parents and the state?

"And now if a whole nation fell into that? In such a case, I answer, infallibly they will return out of it. For life is no cunningly-devised deception or self deception, it is a great truth that thou art alive, that thou hast desires, necessities: neither can these subsist and satisfy themselves on delusions, but on fact. To fact, depend on it, we shall come back: to such fact, blessed or cursed, as we have wisdom for."
Thomas Carlyle
2016 May 30 19:55
Like PostLIKE REPLY
The following 1 user Likes Osweo's post:
Artturi (30-05-2016)
Phlegethon
Offline
Factionist of the forlorn



Deutschland

Posts: 5.283
Joined: Jun 2012
Reputation: 641
Post: #3
RE: 'Tourists go home': Spain tourism surge brings backlash
I certainly am no friend of the Mallorca tourists, be they German or British, but there's a lot of hypocrisy in such statements. Fact is: Without tourism Mallorca would be a ghost island. The billions of revenue each year still wander into the pockets of corrupt and degenerate local politicians and businessmen. If that money actually made it into responsible hands there would not be such a lousy sub-standard infrastructure and no fincas would be built in environmentally protected areas. so if the locals want to complain they should protest the Balearic mafia structures. One year without tourism and all these concerned citizens would have to commute to the mainland for some minimum wage job.


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2016 May 30 21:34
Like PostLIKE REPLY
The following 3 users Like Phlegethon's post:
Artturi (31-05-2016), Osweo (30-05-2016), Sincfal (31-05-2016)
Godyfa
Offline
Daughter of Yorkshire



England

Posts: 794
Joined: Dec 2014
Reputation: 112
Post: #4
RE: 'Tourists go home': Spain tourism surge brings backlash
Biting the hand that feeds them. As Phlegethon said, without tourists these areas of the Med would be backwaters.

Not that I can stand British holidayers abroad. Most go to southern Europe just for the sun, and don't bother to discover the local culture or even try the local language. British TV is full of shows of folks misbehaving themselves in the Spanish resorts...

I'd be more concerned about the overcrowding in especially Italian cities like Florence and Rome. The volume of people makes it hard to enter and appreciate the ancient sites.
2016 May 31 07:07
Like PostLIKE REPLY
The following 3 users Like Godyfa's post:
Artturi (31-05-2016), Osweo (31-05-2016), Sincfal (31-05-2016)
Phlegethon
Offline
Factionist of the forlorn



Deutschland

Posts: 5.283
Joined: Jun 2012
Reputation: 641
Post: #5
RE: 'Tourists go home': Spain tourism surge brings backlash
A similar problem exists on Sylt, the famous German jet set island. By now almost no locals remain because either they were greedy and sold their houses to investors, causing the real estate prices to skyrocket or one heir could not afford to pay out the other and therefore had to sell the family home. Those few locals rmaining can no longer afford to live there because multi-millionaires set the prices and poison the cultural climate. But once again, it started with those locals who could not resist the smell of piles of money.


Not in haunts of marble chill,
Temples drear where ancients trod,—
Nay, in oaks on woody hill
Lives and moves the German God.

2016 May 31 11:02
Like PostLIKE REPLY
The following 3 users Like Phlegethon's post:
Artturi (31-05-2016), Osweo (31-05-2016), Sincfal (31-05-2016)
Zephyr
Away
Bots, bots everywhere.
Supervision



Portugal

Posts: 1.669
Joined: Feb 2012
Reputation: 535
Post: #6
RE: 'Tourists go home': Spain tourism surge brings backlash
You know the silly season has arrived when the content of a random graffiti made by some kid becomes news and the source of inspiration for a long story at Reuters.

Anyway and for what's worth, the dilemma is on the same level of the anti-Polish sentiments in the UK and Germany. Who will lay bricks and fix water pipes for a couple euros...

Greed is the precursor of all sins.

[Image: m8Qubx3.jpg]

Jeff Hanneman 1964-2013
João Ribas 1965-2014
Lemmy Kilmister 1945-2015
2016 May 31 11:52
Like PostLIKE REPLY
The following 3 users Like Zephyr's post:
Artturi (31-05-2016), Flavius (31-05-2016), Osweo (31-05-2016)


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)