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Locals ramp up 'war' on low-cost tourism

Alex Dunham · 22 Aug 2014, 12:00

Published: 22 Aug 2014 12:00 GMT+02:00

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Around 400 neighbours of the seaside neighbourhood of Barceloneta took to the streets on Thursday night to demand an end to the unruly behaviour of tourists staying in unregistered apartments.

“We want our neighbourhood to be for the locals not for low-cost tourism,” a spokesperson for the movement told Catalan daily La Vanguardia.    

Bottom right photo reads "We don't want drunken guiris (slang word in Spanish for foreigners)".

Up to 100 locals took part in a spontaneous street demo on Tuesday night, cutting off traffic, shouting out slogans against tourists and harassing holiday apartment letting agents.

They blame the latter for the problem as holiday apartments are rented out cheaply to young party-seeking tourists without any consideration for locals living in an otherwise tranquil residential area.

"We're not fighting drunken tourism, we're fighting to close down tourist apartments"

Story continues below…

Barceloneta residents have also criticized authorities for not addressing the alcohol-fuelled noise, filth and reckless behaviour in the central Barcelona district, an ever-growing problem as the Catalan capital’s tourism industry continues to boom.

Barcelona Town Hall will hold a press conference on Friday to explain how they plan to combat the issue of unregistered holiday apartments, which currently outnumber officially approved rental accommodation by seven to one.

But Barceloneta locals, who have little faith that the problem will be resolved, have announced they will hold yet another protest at 6pm on Saturday. 

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Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

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