A wave of anti-tourism protests have been taking place in some of Europe’s most popular destinations. Yet, as "tourism-phobia" becomes a feature of the summer, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has defended the sector, calling on local authorities to do more to manage growth in a sustainable manner.
We have seen anti-tourism demonstrations and graffiti here in Palma, it has become commonplace in Barcelona, Venice, Rome, Dubrovnik, mainly because of the cruise ships dumping thousands of tourists on to the streets. The latest to voice its concern about the negative impact tourism is apparently having on local communities and society is Cornwall.
Apart from clotted cream, pasties and fishing, what else has Cornwall got going for it, please tell? It has been a popular tourist and surf destination for decades, it may have had a surge this year because of the heatwave, but that was a one-off. It’s raining there today, so normal life will be resumed.
In Spain, Arran, the youth wing of the radical CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy), have been filmed slashing the tyres of rental bicycles and a tour bus. An Arran spokesperson said recently: "Today’s model of tourism expels people from their neighbourhoods and harms the environment."
And their satellite group in Majorca feels the same. I bet for those of the protesters who have jobs, some are working in the tourist industry or a related sector. Have they thought how Majorca would exist without tourists?