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Tourists unwelcomed in many resort towns in Spain


It appears as if many Spaniards are no longer welcoming foreign tourists to many of the country’s major resort sites. There has been a serious anti-tourist revolt building in the country for quite some time and many of the locals in many of the resort areas are sick of the tourists turning their beloved places into theme park like attractions.

As Spain continues to battle an overall unemployment rate in the mid 20’s, it seems that many of the neighborhoods and towns are conflicted with regard to the recent attitudes toward tourism. Many more thousands of tourists have been flocking to Spain because Turkey and Egypt seem too dangerous for many of them and they are choosing Spain instead.

The controversy seems centered at Palma de Mallorca but has been slowly spreading throughout the country. Walls are plastered with anti-tourism graffiti and the natives are none to friendly to the foreigners who they believe are just there to wreak havoc on their small town life. The country however depends on the tourists for its very survival in many cases. Tourism currently accounts for nearly 20% of all jobs and about 12% of the total economy.

The locals don’t want the tourists because of the destruction and the disruption to their lives but they know that tourism is helping the nation claw its way out of a severe depression. The port at Palma de Mallorca has become crammed with cruise ships from around the world but the problem is very much local. There have been local parking bans at many tourist sites and neighborhood residents are forced to drive for blocks just to find a place to park their car since their usual space near there home is now given over to tourists. Many are leaving neighborhoods their families have lived in for generations.

The port of Palma de Mallorca is often crammed with cruise ships

The port of Palma de Mallorca is often crammed with cruise ships

In many areas of Spain, the tourists drive over half of the economic growth of a particular region. In some regions, the population of the towns can instantly double when the tourists flood in even for one day. In Palma, for instance, many of the locals just avoid the downtown area when the cruise ships are in because they know they will get nowhere near the local vendors they want to go to for food and other things. Many neighborhoods also decry the increased vandalism and the drunk and disorderly behavior of many of the tourists.

Gaspar Alomar, 30, a bookstore owner in Palma said that, “The resources we have are finite so it’s logical that there should be a finite number coming in. 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.”