Tourists told to 'go home' as protesters claim Spanish hotspot has become 'unliveable'

Tourists told to 'go home' as protesters claim Spanish hotspot has become 'unliveable'

Expat in Spain shares the worst thing about moving to the European country

Reuters
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop


Published: 05/05/2024

- 16:13

Updated: 27/06/2024

- 07:47

Residents say they are being outpriced out of their neighbourhoods by expats who earn more money

Holidaymakers in Malaga have been told to “go home” by anti-tourist protesters, who claim it has become “unliveable”.

Locals say they are being forced out of their own neighborhoods as properties are being converted to accommodation for visitors and are now demanding the end of the “touristification” of the popular holiday hotspot.


Protesters are planning to walk down the streets of Costa Del Sol on June 29 with the slogan: “For decent housing and against the processes of touristification and precariousness of life.”

After the pandemic, many remote workers have been moving to Spain for a cheaper and sunnier life. This, coupled with expats often earning more than the locals, has resulted in many residents feeling like they are being pushed out.

Protest in Tenerife/Malaga beach

Tourists told to 'go home' as protesters claim hotspot has become 'unliveable'

Getty

Dani Drunko, a bar owner in Malaga who was kicked out of his home to make room for holidaymakers, said: “Malaga city centre has been going downhill for a long time.

“If something in my bar breaks, I don't have a hardware store to buy anything [because] the tourists don't need to buy screws.”

A local politician took to social media to vent: “You walk the streets of Málaga and it is practically impossible to find a residential building that does not have a lockbox [for tourist rentals].”

Vexed locals have started putting up stickers with angry messages on buildings around the town centre, with some reading “stinks of tourists”, “go f***ing home” and “this was my home”.

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Malaga

Locals say they are being forced out of their own neighbourhoods as properties are being converted to accommodation for visitors

Getty

It comes after tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Tenerife to protest last month in a demonstration against mass tourism - which they say is “killing the Canary Island.”

Around 50,000 people assembled in Tenerife's capital Santa Cruz to march under the banner "Canarias tiene un límite (The Canaries have a limit)", with demonstrators chanting against the effects of the island's tourist industry, such as the pricing-out of residents and damage to the environment.

The protests have been backed by a range of environmental campaign groups including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth; as well as the Canary Islands, Spaniards have also protested in Madrid, and are set to rally in London, in an attempt to raise awareness in the Spanish government and among prospective British tourists.

The Canary Islands are now urging British people not to cancel their holidays despite the protest, with regional tourism chief Jessica de León insisting that tourists are still welcome on the Islands.

Protests in TenerifeProtests have been held in the Canary Islands in recent weeks against the mass tourism crisisGetty

“It is still safe to visit the Canary Islands, and we are delighted to welcome you,” she told The Telegraph.

She added that she understood the frustration, but said it was “unfair to blame tourism”.

Fernando Clavijo, the Canary Islands president, echoed León by saying that some activists “smack of tourist-phobia”.

“People who come here to visit and spend their money must not be criticised or insulted. We are playing with our main source of income,” Clavijo said.

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