'We cannot enjoy the city': Outcry among Spanish locals as petition launched for stricter tourism regulation

'We cannot enjoy the city': Outcry among Spanish locals as petition launched for stricter tourism regulation
Spanish Coastline
Solen Le Net

By Solen Le Net

Published: 07/05/2024

- 17:10

Updated: 10/05/2024

- 09:08

Locals in Seville are dissatisfied with current regulations on tourism

British tourists have been flocking to Spain in record numbers in the past year, stirring tensions among locals.

As major cities start imposing bans and taxes to combat the ever-growing influx of visitors, locals in Seville have launched a petition calling for stricter controls on ‘toxic’ tourism in the hotspot.

The latest missive claimed that a “tourism invasion” is destroying the “life and heritage” of locals, demanding stricter regulations to rectify the problem.

It also asked for rigid Airbnb regulations to stop skyrocketing property prices from squeezing out locals.

Locals in Seville are protesting against tourists


The petition read: “Sevilla is invaded by masses of tourists that are destroying the life and heritage of Sevilianos.

“We can no longer rest in our homes because tourists come and go at all hours, the sound of suitcases everywhere, we can’t walk in the streets, we can’t sit in our usual places anymore, they are kicking us out of neighbourhoods, the prices are impossible, we cannot rest of enjoy the city either.

“Sevilla is a theme park right now and we cannot allow it, Sevilla belongs to Sevillanos and its residents.

“We demand that the City Council really regulate the problem because the proposal from last March is insufficient.

“We want the number of VUT homes (holiday lets) not only to be regulated from now on but also to be reduced and great control and rates required.

“We must demand higher fees and controls from Airbnb, as well as from the owners of these homes, and establish greater requirements and eliminate those that do not comply, even retroactively.

“We demand that the City Council recover the city. Tourism yes, massive and toxic tourism, NO.”

The Canary Islands have seen a wave of anti-tourism protests calling for an urgent rethink of tourism strategies.

Holidaymakers in the region were targeted in a string of demonstrations against properties being converted into accommodation for visitors.

Tourists were also warned they could be fined up to £2,500 in a crackdown on anti-social behaviour.



Seville is a popular hotspot for British tourists


The pledge was announced by the mayor of Palma, Jaime Martínez, during a speech at the International Tourist Conference in Berlin on Tuesday, March 5.

Jaime Martínez's contemplation of fines for anti-social behaviour in Spain aligns with a global trend in popular destinations to maintain a positive atmosphere for tourists and locals, pointed out the CEO at Ibiza Summer Villas, Michele Massa.

“The non-discriminatory nature of these fines means that they will apply equally to all tourists from the British to seasoned locals sharing these vibrant spaces,” the expert told GB News.

It is understood that several destinations across Spain could be gearing up to implement a fine for unruly behaviour.

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