'Beach closed': Fake signs put up in Spain’s Mallorca to dissuade tourists

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'Beach closed': Fake signs put up in Spain’s Mallorca to dissuade tourists
Fake signs alert tourists of "falling rocks" and "dangerous jellyfish" at the beaches and coves of Manacor in Mallorca. Photos: Manacor Caterva

Activists on Mallorca have put up fake signs with messages such as “beware of dangerous jellyfish” and “caution, falling rocks” in a bid to prevent the island’s beaches from being packed full of tourists. 


In the latest example of how some Spaniards have grown tired of the effects of mass tourism on their country, activists on the Balearic island of Mallorca have hung up fake signs at beaches which aim to put off foreign holidaymakers from visiting these overcrowded spots. 

In the beach coves of Manacor, activists belonging to the anti-capitalist association Manacor Caterva have placed signs at the entrance of the pathways that read “polluted sea water” “beware of dangerous jellyfish”, “beach closed” and “caution - falling rocks”, messages that are all written in English. 


They've also wrongly suggested that the beaches and coves in question are two hour’s walk away or further still.

At the bottom of the signs in small writing are messages in Catalan that explain to locals that the warnings are not real, stating for example that “the problem isn’t a rockfall, it’s mass tourism” or “beach open except for foreigners (guiris) and jellyfish”.

READ ALSO: Is the Spanish word 'guiri' (foreigner) offensive?

The group has claimed that the campaign is “charged with humour”, tweeting on X that "If you want to use the images and print posters you just have to ask us and we will send them to you in good quality. Let's continue the fight!".

At the same time, they’ve stressed that the purpose of the unofficial signs is to denounce "the usurpation of the coves as just one more expression of how capitalism uses an economic activity such as tourism, taken to the extreme, to freely bleed dry the territory and to extract the maximum surplus value from the workers”.

"There are guilty parties and it is necessary to name them, Manacor Caterva added, “such as the hoteliers or the 'Rafael Nadals' with the total complicity of some municipalities and the government, the current one and the previous one" 

Mallorca receives millions of tourists every year (11.4 million in 2022) and overcrowding peaks during the summer months, with reports over the past few years that people queue for hours to get a spot and a selfie at these very ‘instagrammable’ beaches and coves.


Such is the human traffic of holidaymakers coming and going from Mallorca’s beaches and coves that they’re slowly disappearing.

"Each person carries 34 grammes of sand on their feet, that's 70 kilos a day, two tonnes a month, six tonnes during the summer," Hans Peter, a German architect who owns land next to the island’s most popular cove Es Caló des Moro and who was fined by the Balearic government for restricting access to the cove from his plot, told ABC.

In recent days, fresh graffities echoing the all-too-familiar message of “Tourists go home” have appeared on walls of perhaps the other location in Spain which is suffering the consequences of mass tourism the most: Barcelona. 

The Gràcia neighbourhood of the Catalan capital has been celebrating their local festival and one new graffiti written in Catalan which reads “are they neighbourhood parties if there are more tourists than neighbours?” showcases the sentiment of many locals.



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