Barcelona anti-tourism protesters fire water pistols at visitors

submitted by MicroWave…

Protesters in Barcelona have sprayed visitors with water as part of a demonstration against mass tourism.

Demonstrators marching through areas popular with tourists on Saturday chanted “tourists go home” and squirted them with water pistols, while others carried signs with slogans including “Barcelona is not for sale.”

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the city in the latest demonstration against mass tourism in Spain, which has seen similar actions in the Canary Islands and Mallorca recently, decrying the impact on living costs and quality of life for local people.

The demonstration was organised by a group of more than 100 local organizations, led by the Assemblea de Barris pel Decreixement Turístic (Neighborhood Assembly for Tourism Degrowth).

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However, the Assemblea de Barris pel Decreixement Turístic says that these visitors increase prices and put pressure on public services, while profits from the tourism industry are unfairly distributed and increase social inequality.

The greedy local businesses and the local government letting them keep their probably ridiculous profits is the problem here.


We have a similar problem where I live... It became a rich person vacation spot like 15 years ago and now they're ruining the town... They buy up the shops, but gut them from being geared towards those that *live* here to just throw away vacation trinket shops and stupidly overpriced restaurants that all close from fall to spring. They buy all the available housing so they can spend *two fucking weeks a year* in the house...

I can absolutely empathize with these people. At least here, these rich fucking tourists are literal locusts. No one but themselves benefit: they made a closed system that their money circulates in and all the working people have to leave which *ALSO* benefits the wealthy as their homes become available to buy... Of course too expensive for us to afford, but what's $1+million for a 2 week vacation spot for an obscenely wealthy person...


Squirting people with water in the middle of summer is a punishment? Aim it right at my face, protesters.


Especially if it's as been as hot in Barcelona as it's been here in North America. It's been ridiculous.


"...profits from the tourism industry are unfairly distributed and increase social inequality. "

It sounds like the real problem isn't the actual tourists.



Who should I blame today for our problems, tourists or immigrants?

Choose one (and please ignore the capitalist elite actually causing these problems)


I live in a tourism-dependent city and the main problem isn’t tourists as much as AirBnB and similar services fucking up residential neighborhoods, raising rents, etc. And even then, it’s not the original AirBnB concept (of renting your place or spare bedroom out) as much as investors (often institutional investors) buying up dozens of properties and acting as unlicensed, less regulated hoteliers.

I’d be fine with AirBnB if they voluntarily limited that sort of shit or were forced to do it via strong regulations or punitive taxes. We have some OKish regulations. There’s permits and restrictions on density — one per block in residential areas, basically — but lobbyists got involved so half the regulations are about protecting the hotel industry instead of protecting the limited housing stock. And it all relies on AirBnB enforcing the rules when they have the opposite incentive.


What is the temperature in Barcelona right now? I would imagine getting hit with a water gun would feel pretty nice on a hot day of walking around doing touristy stuff.


I fucking guarantee every single one of the locals out there spraying people and yelling at tourists has been a tourist at some point in their life. Even if it was for a day trip to Madrid or Valencia or Bilbao, they were tourists who didn't deserve to be attacked just for seeing some place new. They are just hateful hypocrites who like annoying people for fun.

They have a legitimate concern with housing prices and how the government has allowed (until recently) Airbnb to drive up their housing costs. But the tourists aren't the problem. And if they want to get rid of all tourists, let them A) find out how much their economy relies on tourism, and B) never be allowed to leave their city again.


There's a lot of nuance there with very vocal people due to recent history. It also has a lot to do with awareness of the major water restrictions residents are under but tourists are not (thus the water pistols). If they make news scaring off tourists, it forces the government to reconsider the balance they've put on tourist funding vs local economy.

I'm not saying I like what's happening or not, just saying there is a lot to unpack when you don't live there.


They've done a good job of broadcasting that tourism is a problem there. I'll respect that next time I make travel plans. Assuming others think like me, then the protest has been effective.


yeah I'll respect that by not going to Barcelona


That's what they would prefer and the point of their protests. Sarcasm doesn't really fit here in this context.


My understanding is the people understand tourism funds things, but that they dont appreciate the divided treatment, such as the water restrictions tourists do not have to abide by.


Yup. Sucks to be those tourists for sure but it's not like they were in danger.


Just a shitty feeling. You come to appreciate the culture, food, the views, you name it; to just be a visitor, a guest, and you get yelled at to go home.

Fucking yell at your government for allowing Airbnb to fester, instead of randos who support local businesses...

(not directed at you, just venting)

claudiop , edited

Nope. At least in Lisbon (which is probably just the same as Barcelona) the vast majority of them go straight at the tourist traps. They barely get any contact with the culture beyond having some foreigner guide pretend he knows about the city point at things while driving their rickshaw in the most annoying possible way. At the end of the day they end up eating whatever sounds foreign while listening to foreign music. This is an actual common complaint people have in Lisbon, that it is not Lisbon, it has been pretending it is Disneyland for the last 10-15 years.

There are places where people do that kind of tourism you're describing. Barcelona, Lisbon and a few more popular places, for the vast majority of tourists, is not.

As for the "support" argument, they mostly support low-wage low-qualification boss-owns-50-other-places businesses while, collaterally, raising the expenses of every other business, prompting those to just close the doors and move elsewhere. If you are qualified in basically anything, the job market in Lisbon is a mess. Plenty of people do lie about their qualifications to state them as lower than they are, just in order to get these crap jobs. The purchasing power fell, locals are actually much poorer since the mass tourism wave that started when the world rebound from 2008. The median salary in Lisbon is like 1000€ while a rent for a cube starts at like 800-1200€.

As for the "yell at the government", I don't know about the situation in Barcelona, but in Portugal, the far-right just received 20% of the votes because they are the only ones addressing those problems (in a very "close the doors" kind of way). Some municipalities straight up started not giving a damn at as they cash in more from the tourists than from the local's taxes. Oeiras and Cascais, two kind of famous tourist destinations next to Lisbon straight up are renaming official stuff to English in order to appease their real clients (eg. Not the people who live there).


One thing I didn't see you mention is that Spain and Portugal have a specific issue which I haven't really seen anywhere else, which is the British coming there so much that some areas are basically turning into UK-bis zones but with more sun. If you go around Málaga you find more pubs and Guinness than tapas. You lose everything that makes these places what they are. And it's not just tourism as you'd think about where people come for a week or two, but also a lot of people buying property and either living there part time or moving there for retirement, compounding these real estate issues.


Interesting. Valid points...


Barcelona is overrated anyway, IMO. There are many better cities/towns in Spain.


Never been to Barcelona and never wanted to go even though people kept telling me it’s beautiful (sounded overhyped to me).

Now I want to go there less, and I’m happy about that :D


People need to realize that tourism is almost like a favour to a country. You literally generate value in your home and go pour it into another economy.

Tourism has always been mutually beneficial and any government can and has the right to reduce it if they really really want to, they don’t though cause they like the money.


It's also quite likely the majority was not born in Barcelona


Do you have a source for that?


It's a big city, I think it's pretty common that people move there from all over the country for work/studies.


I don't think that's relevant at all. Residents of Barcelona should still not be pushed out by BnBs.


It seems more effective to get short term rentals banned in their city by organizing and speaking to their local city council.

Squirting unsuspecting visitors with water guns seems ineffective and unlikely to achieve any results.


The town hall intends to ban short term rentals in a few years. Definitely far too slow, but it has gotten to the point that even politicians who want to see their city's coffers grow fat admit that it's an economic activity that does more harm than good.


It got them enough attention to make it to the CNN...


You make a point, but I still question if a CNN article will achieve the desired results. People ought to discuss with their local representatives to achieve things.

Deceptichum , edited

Their local representative probably doesn’t give a shit, but now that it’s making international news and making them look bad they might act.


Now that I know about this in Colorado, surely it will get better



Like many cities around the world, AirBNB (and similar) redirecting housing into short term rentals has had a massive negative impact on long term housing for local residents.


Well, that and the constant crackdown governments do on new construction. AirBNB takes housing out of the supply and over-strict zoning prevents new housing from coming in.


ABnB is the worst. Once it moved away from "renting a room in an occupied house" to "become a landlord with less steps and no oversight!" it became a blight.


You mean the zoning laws, that demand houses to be built for people living in them instead of tourist short term rentals? Yeah bad bad zoning laws.


There many things wrong with many zoning laws. Of course it's dependent municipality, but in many places light residential is given preference, neighbourhoods are designed for driving. Wide roads designed to have higher speed limits so aren't all that walkable. Zoning is done separately for residential, commercial, and industrial. So there's no shops close by to walk to, so gotta use a car.

It all adds up to neighbourhoods that aren't all that livable. But older parts of a cities that were built before all this zoning are walkable, there's a good mix of housing and shops. Those places are were people want to live. But also where tourists want to stay.

Bad zoning laws indeed.


I love it. If they protest peacefully like this, it's innefective. If they are violent, or destructive it's innefective. Do you really think if talking with politicians worked we would be in this situation? They are trying to get more attention to the problem and this worked perfectly.

Excrubulent , edited

I'm noticing this tactic a lot of people shitting on activism by handwringing about "Oh I'm totally one of you and I totally agree with your goals but your tactics are just going too far!"

MLK decried this exact thing in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

“…that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ ”


Attacking tourists is not exactly a solution and will just fuck their economy up even more.


It's totally harmless and works to grab the media attention.


Attacking tourists

It's water


What if they have an allergy to water?


In a hostile context even the most harmless of things can become weapons.

For example, do you care if the guy in school gets a bucket of water emptied above them while being ridiculed by bullies?

It's just water at the end, so what?


This analogy is a ridiculous false equivalence.

go $fsck yourself

The lady in the thumbnail looks like Sarah Connor.


I can understand the residents and where they're coming from, but protesting against the tourists themselves, people who have already made the trip and are there for a week or two before they fuck off home and who probably don't care and definitely have no control over local politics, rather than against the local owning class making all of the money off of the tourists and who encourage them to keep coming, and the authorities that they pay to enable them, seems like completely missing the point.


I feel like you're missing the point. It's a protest, and they found an effective way to make their point. These tourists had their day ruined at worst, they'll get over it.

DessertStorms , edited

No, it's definitely you who are missing the point.

I don't feel bad for the tourists, I feel bad for the protestors, because they're wasting their time.

Because the people they need to be protesting don't give a shit about tourists getting wet either, they've already been paid for these tourists' visit, and millions more to come - because this isn't going to stop any future tourists either, precisely because being shot at with a water pistol is not a big deal.

This protest is having zero impact on the people the protestors need it to have an impact on, making it wholly ineffective.


Eh, I'd love to visit Barcelona, but I won't until they figure out how to make tourism work without causing the city to be unlivable for locals.

I wish I knew how to be a better tourist, too. I've seen similar feedback from other cities, including my own. Tourism and prioritizing tourism isn't good for locals in many ways.


Eh, I’d love to visit Barcelona, but I won’t until they figure out how to make tourism work without causing the city to be unlivable for locals.

Good for you (sincerely), but it wasn't the water pistols that led you to that conclusion, was it?

Tourism and prioritizing tourism isn’t good for locals in many ways

Absolutely, but until the negative impacts hit those raking in all the money, and not just the working class people on the front lines dealing with the consequences, nothing will change. Which again, is why the protestors targeting the tourists, and not those profiting from them, is ineffective.

As for being a better tourist, I'm no authority, especially since I've not been one for many years, but reading up on local attitudes and complaints about tourists would probably be a good place to start and learn what to avoid, and go from there..


I've actually heard several times over the last few years that Barcelona is unfriendly towards tourists, and then there's the recent news that they will ban short-term rentals in 2028 and that multiple groups were involved in the water gun stunt... So no, it's not just the water guns, but it takes a lot for news from Spain to reach me in the States. The water guns were actually a moderately effective means of telling me that tourism is an issue in the city, and that people are angry about it.

I can't say that my individual thoughts and actions are common, but I'm not unique in this world either. Many cities are expressing frustration at the results of tourism, and through various means locals are making themselves known. I do think it does some amount of good for the protestors to organize via actions, both for the strength of the local movement, as well as in creating awareness of issues. I'm not sure what else they're looking for past the ban, though I'm sure they have as many existential crises through capitalism as the rest of the world. Other desires and critiques haven't made it across the Atlantic to me yet.


They do campaign against their governments. They've now gotten international news coverage for confronting tourists, an action that could cause many to pause when considering visiting the city. The people who run the city will notice that and so will potential future tourists.

Sounds like it could be potentially impactful to me.

DessertStorms , edited

They already had loads of international news coverage for the airbnb ban, and I guarantee they would have gotten significantly more had they, again, simply targeted the people responsible, rather than those who have zero power to do anything abut it (because again - they aren't even just random locals, they are people who having already paid for their time there and contributed to the problem, and who are unlikely to return, not regularly anyway, and have zero impact on local politics).

Getting you to notice isn't impact, you are irrelevant to the people who have the power over their situation.

thoro , edited

The people who have power will care if tourism dropped because tourists are made literally uncomfortable by local protests and that becomes known to potential travelers


Screw these guys. Whatever your position on the matter it's not the tourists themselves who are culpable, but the national and local government for allowing their economy to be so reliant on tourism.

It doesn't justify assaulting and harassing people in the streets.

Barcelona is not the only city in the world that attracts a large number of tourists. Many cities attract more. Yet Barcelona is the only place I see with so many of these xenophobic nutjobs.


If the government is sitting on its hands then you can't blame them for doing something themselves. So I would blame the government for the protests and not the protesters. It's their home, not a theme park.


Yes but you could raise awareness in different ways or complain in a different place.

Those tourists are already there. They aren’t gonna pack up and leave. Sure they are probably not going to recommend Barcelona to their friends in the future but that’s insignificant.

Those tourists can’t even vote in legislation that would fix it, because they don’t live there. So it’s literally barking at the wrong tree.

And for the record, I’m very much aware that protests are almost by definition annoying. I’m very much for all the climate protests even when they block roads and such.


They do and have. Why are y'all in here acting like the Catalonian activists aren't also running local campaigns against their regional and national governments?


This justifies assaulting people how, exactly?


It was a peaceful protest from what I can see in the video and in the article text. By assault, are you talking about the tiny cheap water pistols the two girls were squirting?


Yes. Downplay it all you want but it's still assault. Especially when acid attacks are not unheard of.


Downplay it all you want but it’s still assault

Words aren't black and white things. The cashier not issuing a receipt is financial fraud but we're talking about gum; they dodged 5 cents in taxes.

Especially when acid attacks are not unheard of

I personally haven't heard of those one single time, but even if they were a thing every now and then, are we going to assume that anyone spraying a few ml of water might be throwing acid just bcuz? The point of these protests is to raise attention to the problem, not to harm tourists. If someone goes that "extra mile", throw them behind bars, this instead of assuming that the thousand others might be trying to seriously injuring someone when they're, very likely, doing something that goes away after 2 minutes in the local weather.

It is not a secret that a few cities across southern Europe very pissy about the treatment they're getting. I'm not into victim blaming, but it is strange to think of these tourists as surprised when they got confronted with some sort of protests or message of disdain. In Portugal those are all over the place. From graffiti to protests. And sure, most of those do not involve any sort of physical touch with the tourists, however, if I was a tourist I'd be way madder at some of the protests I see over here than over taking a minuscule spray of water and those you wouldn't qualify as "assault" only as "speech".


It's a protest. Same thing as climate protestors blocking the roads, no the individual commuters are not responsible for climate change, but the blocking roads is an effective way to draw attention to the issue.

Protests need to be disruptive or they won't be effective. These tourists had their day/lunch ruined at worst, the protestors are fighting for affordable living in the city they live in and they clearly have found an effective way to protest.

So yeah no, I feel bad for the tourists but that's about it.


Climate protesters don't assault people who are just sitting down eating. It's not the same.

(I actually would criticise those climate groups for separate reasons but that's a different conversation).


Those tourists can’t even vote. With climate protests at least you are raising awareness in people that can have some change or make some pressure.

Yes protests need to be disruptive but spraying people in London would be just as effective as spraying tourists that are ALREADY in their city.

TimeNaan , edited

These specific tourists were not targetted to change their minds. It was done to spread awareness and get coverage in the international media that Barcelona has nad enough of tourists.

It worked. So it 's a successful protest.

JimmyMcGill , edited

I guess you are right that it created news but I doubt it will have the desired effect. One does not guarantee the other necessarily


If we only did things that have guaranteed outcomes, not much would get done.


Then you're not paying attention. Plenty of such protests-with-thousands in a few major places that were overwhelmed. Barcelona, Maiorca, Lisbon, Algarve, probably most of Greece, Italy, Southern France, etc...

It is not false that the government has blame, however, there's plenty of preverse incentive in here. Land prices skyrocketed and a lot of very well positioned individuals got very well in life.

At the end of the day, being a decent human being doesn't require laws. If you know you're competing with locals whose rents already are higher than their salaries, with their businesses that now can't support rents any longer and generally browsing fake-local-crap (and I assure you that most mass tourism is), then you're just making yourself unwelcome.

Even the "tourists are injecting money in the local economy" argument is in a good part bullshit. Ofc that some of it loops to everyone else, but the gains are generally very poorly distributed and many times negative as that money destroys homes and jobs.

If you go to some parts of Lisbon, you're not going to be able to hear one single word of Portuguese. Just yday I heard about a guy complaining that tourists attempted to forbid him from going into a waterfall near his home because... It ruins their photos and they waited in line to have them while the guy just "skipped the queue". Mass-tourists can't just figure that it is a country where people live and not a theme park, the "we paid to come here, we have rights" argument is heard plenty of times.


Nothing worse than hearing that self-entitled argument along with "you're not complaining when we use all our money here are ye????" Makes my blood boil.


Aren't you figuring that we'd rather not have that? That money is mostly not reaching anyone but landlords, restaurant owners and rickshaws. We get poorer with tourism money.

The jobs that pay us more than 860€ (the minimum salary) disappear with mass tourism because 1) land values get too expensive 2) a lot of highly qualified people just emigrated away after being unable to pay rent.

People who attended STEM fields know that the way to get proper jobs is to leave the country, which is bloody unfair because we used to have them. Instead of 3k/mo white-collar jobs we get 860€/mo whipping simulators dealing with entitled tourists.

Ofc that not every job disappeared but since the economy is highly uncompetitive with it's tourism focus, you get the worst possible scenario for everything else.


I'm going to guess you're using an empiric "you", because I was trying to agree with you! Everything you said is on point.

tlou3please , edited

Sorry, how does any of this justify assaulting tourists?

I'm from London and now live in another tourist heavy city. It doesn't justify assaulting people.


It doesn't justify assaulting (albeit calling 3ml of water in the Mediterranean summer an assault is a bit of a stretch), but that was not the only thing you said. You were isolating Barcelona as a special case. I simply said that it is not isolated at all, that every popular region along the entire Mediterranean coast is suffering from the same.

London's situation is bad but 1) 6 times more population dilutes tourism way better 2) London's tourism is "going there, taking pictures, famous Harry Potter things, giant ferry wheel, bye" instead of "I like this weather and everything is cheap; I think I'll stay here for as long as my visa allows" 3) the richer you are the least affected you get as tourists can't compete with you all that easily 4) London has that other phenomena, which is not quite tourism, called mass immigration, and the last time I've heard about citizen actions towards the problem they were following the "we no longer want to participate in anything with out neighbors" path which is IMHO a bit more extreme than just being mad en masse with a relatively harmless protest.

From a political standpoint, Madrid is an oppressive mess. Catalonia is in the podium for the most productive region and this is killing it slowly (as it did with Portugal and parts of other countries). You can't quite say the same about London. In London you might end up living far from the city center but your economic woes do not come from the thousands of immigrants nor the tourists all around.


Barcelona DOES have a unique reputation for these anti-tourist groups. That's why I said Barcelona was unique. But it's NOT unique in hosting large numbers of tourists. Not even close.


Barcelona DOES have a unique reputation for these anti-tourist groups.

The literal exact same thing happens in every other alike place. We have the same in Lisbon.

The pieces of information foreigners get do not necessarily match the local truths.

As an example: I do volunteering at a kind-of-food-bank. It is obviously free to do. However, if you try to look that up in the internet, every single result will lead you to the idea that you need to have a guide or whatever reason to pay in order to do volunteering in here. The English information is HIGHLY distorted to hit foreigners. It is 100% unreliable. Do not attempt to look up for things about southern European countries in English. Most things that can somehow be capitalized on are lies or deceptive.


Barcelona is not the only city in the world that attracts a large number of tourists. Many cities attract more. Yet Barcelona is the only place I see with so many of these xenophobic nutjobs.

Then you've never interacted with the locals in these other places. Having grown up in a vacation town, I can tell you right now that the only difference here is that the people with water guns have hit their breaking points.

Have you ever seen the movie Jaws? There's a small throwaway bit in there where the wife of the chief of police is asking a friend of hers when she gets to be an islander (because the family had recently moved to the island from New York), and her friend responds, "Never. If you weren't born here, then you're not an islander." Having grown up near where that movie was made, that's 100% accurate to the local sentiment. On that island, they call people who move there "wash ashores" because they feel that they washed up like the flotsam and jetsam on the beach. In my town, we called the rich people who would come up to vacation in their lavish summer homes "snowbirds" because they migrated at the same time as the birds and couldn't handle the winter weather.

The most consistent thing I've found about tourist areas is the negative impact the industry has on the area for locals and the hatred locals feel towards the tourists.

Whether these people are acting rightly or wrongly, they're trying to hit the government and businesses where it hurts most - their profits - because it's the only way they'll ever care about the local problems.


Honestly - I'm quite a well travelled person and Barcelona is absolutely notorious for these groups. They are famous for it. So I stand by what I said. I'm from London and now live in a tourist heavy seaside town. I get it. But it doesn't justify assaulting people.

mozz , edited

I don’t even know if they are right or wrong about this, but I stand 1,000% in favor of people getting out in the streets with their water pistols and being the change they want to see in the world

Fuck ‘em up boys, fuck ‘em up. Get those tourists the fuck outta here like a buncha cats that went on the counter.

Flying Squid

I agree. The world would be a better place if more people with grievances used water pistols and fewer used the kind that fire bullets.


Squid, wtf? You’re a mod and this is a direct response to you, TCB son TCB

Flying Squid


Flying Squid

A removed comment that I didn't remove? I'm still not understanding.


I'm going to Barcelona this week on a family trip. We're staying in an AirBnb for a day. I think they've got a legitimate cause to spray people like me, who pretty much across the board don't realize how much their privilege hurts regular working people.

vxx , edited

Take a hotel next time. AirBNB is cancer to citizens looking for an appartement.


I didn't plan the trip myself, and I think there was some reason or another they chose AirBNB instead of a hotel. But yeah, if I ever do a trip like this again (unlikely), fuck an AirBNB


Sorry, I didn't try to put shade on you, as you clearly aren't senseless to the situation, I was just going to point out what the actual issue is with tourists.


No no you're good, I didn't take it that way. I think saying "next time" instead of "you should have" is a good way to help people realize that what they are doing might be destructive, without condemning them to the eternal pits of hell, so I appreciate you saying it that way.


I think there was some reason

Just say "we cheaped out" ffs


I wasn't sure whether hotels had already been booked or whether they cheaped out, that's why I worded it like that. Could be.


Well, don't go then, solves everyone's problems if that's how you feel...

jwiggler , edited

Would you cancel a trip with your family that was already booked, that your mom completely planned out each activity in depth, that you already paid for, that you've been looking forward to, collectively, for over a year, because you found out you'd be contributing to a systemic problem for a day?

You just might be a better person than me, at the end of the day.


Yes, if I felt strongly about I would, but I don't.

And they have no right to throw water at you, so quit apologizing for yourself.


Lots of butthurt entitlement ITT.


Spain has adopted Thailand's Songkran and made their own spin on it.


Tourism is 5% of Spains GDP.

Have fun with that.

stormesp , edited

Which means nothing when it only creates poor paying jobs and pushes everyone out of their cities lol. Most of the money generated by tourism doesnt reach the working class pockets while it clearly makes their quality of life worse. Mass unregulated tourism only helps the wealthy.


It’s not a tourism problem, it’s a regulation problem then… I like the protest and everything but it just feels funny .


Well have fun "regulating" capitalism away.


I mean they mostly want to get rid of airbnbs, which I think it’s also not fair but that’s Barcelonas main problem. I’d say there should be some zoning rules or limits regarding them. But bans would also just prompt to ways of getting around those bans. I am not a big fan of “blame the system” when it’s people setting up airbnbs as it is more cost effective for them than regular renting. We need to self regulate ourselves somehow — give us another economic or political system, and the same inequalities and abuses will show up, I have not much proof but also no doubt . The system is not the problem, greed is, and it’s not capitalism-induced greed , it’s part of human nature.

acargitz , edited

I'm always very confused by comments like this.

You say

I am not a big fan of “blame the system” when it’s people setting up airbnbs as it is more cost effective for them than regular renting.

Like, bro, what makes one option more cost-effective than another option? What do you call the set of rules, regulations, the set of institutions that create them and the set of relations and norms that govern the dependencies between the parts of society that end up creating this or that incentive structure? Because in my vocabulary, the easiest way to describe this concept is ...a system.

We need to self regulate ourselves somehow — give us another economic or political system, and the same inequalities and abuses will show up, I have not much proof but also no doubt. The system is not the problem, greed is, and it’s not capitalism-induced greed , it’s part of human nature.

This is such a meaningless statement. Humans operate within societies. Societies impose incentive structures and set up institutions that make certain activities easy and others hard. Certain behaviours are societally penalized, others are rewarded. It's the same species of humans that lives in countries with a lot of corruption and in countries without very little corruption for example. Same human nature here and there, but different outcomes. Changing, improving, reforming, replacing the system is a very meaningful discourse to have. It's literally what democratic politics is supposed to be about: how a citizenry decides what the common polity is to be.


The system is not the problem, greed is, and it’s not capitalism-induced greed , it’s part of human nature.

Rampant, unfettered capitalism exponentially enhances greed as more people gain unlimited wealth.

The way to limit greed is to have laws in place that limit capitalism. Unfortunately many of those laws we used to have were dismantled during the trickle-down era of Reagan and Thatcher.


Big brain move. The money that’s generated from tourism doesn’t trickle down to the people so instead of going after the rich that control the tourism industry and using unions to lift up their wages they would rather go after the same class of people as them because they’re angry at a system that was designed to make them mad at the tourists rather than those profiting directly from it.

I’m all for demanding more of a cut of the pie, and being upset about the city not building housing meant for the people that live there, but this is just plain wrong.


Lmao, massified tourism cant be sustained anywhere, even in zones where the average citizen is wealthier than in Barcelona its starting to get regulated.

What is plain wrong is to talk out of your ass about a matter you dont even start to understand.


Barcelona city should have the highest gdp/capita in Spain, even out-ranking Madrid. Metro area isn't as extreme but overall Catalonia is still rich.

Consider it more like trying to turn NYC into a tourist resort.


I wasnt talking about richer cities than Barcelona inside spain, altough the numbers are skewed due to having very rich zones at the same time they have very poor neighborhoods. I was talking about the rest of the world in zones that are already regulating tourism, as in New York, Venezia etc

It just keeps showing that mass tourism cant be sustained and never benefits the working class, people that is against regulating tourism dont really know what they are talking about.


Oh I forgot you’re a specialist in city planning, urban development and hospitality.

Cities and countries rely on a variety of sources of income and taxes to sustain a quality of life. Understanding that one is still needed while recognizing we can do more to improve the lives of others isn’t talking out of my ass. It’s common sense knowledge. I live close to the Bay Area and frequent tourist areas because of my line of work and recognize that they get populated by people as seasons fluctuate. It’s frustrating, but that’s part of running a successful city. Keeping a vibrant life for people and enticing them to come visit. If Barcelona is just meant to provide only housing for its citizens it becomes another American style suburb instead of what makes Barcelona a cool attraction and lucrative destination.


It does create jobs though. Think of all the small restaurants and shops and your guides in these areas. This provides real people and income that they go on to spend at other businesses in an area.

This is why places advertise for people to come, it boosts the economy.


They didn't say that it doesn't create jobs. They said that it creates poor paying jobs. Which it does. All those restaurants and shops and guides are low wage jobs, and often, only seasonal jobs as well.

In the vacation town I grew up in, up to 50% of businesses were closed 8 months out of the year. In these kinds of areas, tourism isn't a boost to the economy. It is the economy. It eats it up until there's almost nothing left. Any industry that doesn't serve the tourism is pushed out by the high profit margins of only being open long enough to service the seasonal tourism. I used to work at a fish market in that town that stayed open all year, and outside the tourist season, the boss reduced the hours to half of what they were during the tourist season. Because he couldn't afford to keep the business running full-time. The store ran at a loss 8 months out of the year, and the busiest day of the tourist season largely kept the place open the rest of the year. It would've been more profitable for him to close down, but he stayed open because he didn't want his local customers and employees to go somewhere else.

Most of the towns in that county are tourist towns, and that county has the highest rates of drug addiction in the state and huge homelessness problems. Because there's very little to do most of the year since everything is closed, and combine the seasonal labor/low wage tourism industry with the housing stock being bought up by wealthy people for their vacation homes or Air BnBs while apartments prioritize short-term seasonal rentals because of how much more they can charge, and locals can't afford to live in town anymore. There's one town there that has a year-round population of 2,000 and can see up to 60,000 people there in the summer. And anybody I've ever talked to who has lived in a vacation town has cited the exact same issues consistently - high rates of poverty, homelessness, and drug use/addiction.


Oh yeah, a job that pays less than what costs just the rent everywhere in a 3 hour radious of where that job is. Really useful to anyone that is fine with living below a bridge.

barsoap , edited

Most of which is the Balearic isles (40% of local GDP), Canaries (32%), and similar. Barcelona has a *way* higher GDP/capita than the Spanish average, for the city at large tourism income is pretty much peanuts at ludicrous social cost. Every single employee there to do nothing but wipe tourist asses is *lowering* GDP, displacing a supercomputer researcher or whatnot.

If you really want to see the Sagrada Familia or generally are a Gaudi fan fine, it really is the best place to visit for that purpose, otherwise, just go somewhere where your money is actually appreciated. Like, visit Extremadura. Poorest region in Spain, 4.3% of GDP is tourism, rest pretty much agriculture and power generation. *Very* good cuisine. Very dry heat as you might have guessed from the name.


Tbh, that's much lower than I expected. They'll probably be fine.




SpongeBob physics


Sounds like fun.


Your protest should not harm or target individual people, even if that "harm" is a mere annoyance.


Sounds like a great rule to implement if your goal is completely ineffective protests.


Consent is key. Even if it's a toy, touching/interacting/trapping someone in public is not cool.

If your protest doesn't maintain consent, it's a mob.


If your protest isn't inconvenient it's going to be ignored.

GBU_28 , edited

Inconvenience isn't what I called out.

Taking a space and making your voice heard is great. Surrounding and touching certain individuals is not. It lacks consent.

Edit as another critical point why this behavior isn't ok:

In this case, it just so happens they are "targeting" tourists. What if it was far right extremists "targeting" immigrants? Even if they did the exact same thing (squirt guns), that would obviously be inappropriate. My point in this second paragraph is that encouraging or normalizing mob like behavior is not ok, because someday it may be used for a more dangerous or hateful topic.


Nazis don't give a shit what people think is acceptable. That comes with the territory. I know you think you're being kind by saying protests need to be sterile and out of the way but all you're really doing is helping rich people keep them ineffective. How's that been going for the last 50 years?


When did locals consent to have their city taken over?

When the purchasing power disparity is too big, you create this imbalance where you can't just refuse them while at the same time you know that long term it fucks everything up badly.

Businesses will accept them given that they can now charge triple rate for everything. Politicians get extra tax revenue and benefit from bits of corruption here and there. Meanwhile the commoner has to figure another place to live.

The entire south of Portugal (so, not all that far from Barcelona) is now devoid of locals. If you go there in the winter you get to see almost-empty-towns that used to be major cities. Everyone moved to Lisbon. And now that Lisbon also happens to have grown to be an hot spot as well? You guessed it, people mass moving as well, this time for another countries.

A few years back, our PM literally told us to emigrate; that's how bad things got in here.

As for political parties that "want" to "solve this", it is basically a single party show; the far right.

GBU_28 , edited

Classic. You're applying systemic issues onto the individual. It wasn't "taken over". Private property was used for business means. (Tourism). That's an issue between landowners and the state, not between 2 (or more) random people on the street. Everyone in that system consented. The tourists are there legally, and should not be the victim of mob practices.

Always maintain the consent and autonomy of others. Simple stuff.

claudiop , edited

Plenty of movements went on due to public pressure through protests. iIRC the Dutch pro-livable cities movement started that way, with protests against cars, half a century ago.

Also, you're giving to tourists a right while stripping it from ourselves. You forget that in a crowd you're going to have some that are going to break into private property, halt streets and do all kinds of dumb shit in the name of an Instagram picture.

Touristing and handling garbage can be seen the same way. You can think a bit about what bin to use and that takes some extra effort or you can just throw everything in the general because it is easier.

You're touristing in another countries for like 1 week a year. That means that the ratio of time you're touristing to the time you're not is like 53:1, assuming that everyone does the same (which is def not the case). So, a perfectly balanced town in this hypothetical reality has 1 person touristing for each 53 not doing it. In some parts of these cities the opposite happens. It is so massive that you get many times more tourists than locals and that is enough to get everything malfunctioning.

Barcelona just had to remove bus lines from Google Maps to let locals have a chance to ride them. How is this fair? And this is the authorities doing something as you just advocated for. They got called out for that as xenophobic and whatnot. So, tell me, if I live in a place with a nice environment, how to I go to work? And how do I keep a house and a job given the rent increases sponsored by the millions that want to prop up their Instagram? If we can't forbid them from coming, what exactly should we do that is not going to be called xenophobic? Tax it to reduce their numbers? That's also condemned by plenty as gentrification. What is the good solution exactly?


My personal experiences of this have been being yelled "Go home, tourist!" when I make innevitable driving mistakes in a rental car, while in an area that clearly needs all the tourism money it can get.

People new to or unfamiliar with their "home town" often don't realise tourism is part of the backbone they enjoy, even if a muscle gets pulled now and again.


Fuck Spain and their air conditioning rules too.

Resol van Lemmy

You mean to tell me you DON'T want people to visit your beautiful city? Then why did you make it so beautiful in the first place? Attracting tourists is an inevitable side effect of that. Just treat them nicely, and they'll treat you back nicely.

Though now I wanna visit Barcelona just to be sprayed with a water gun, it sounds so fun. Just please ask people for consent if you wanna do that.


Most "beautiful" bits people visit are at least a century old, plenty of them like 5+ centuries old. I don't think that people back then were considering tourists.

I'm either case, weather and natural features play a big role for southern Europe. We didn't decide to have these.

Also, IIRC, we also didn't ask half of Europe to unbuild itself in this last century. WW2, cities for cars and fucking up nature were not decisions we had a say on.

It is silly AF to have a German/Brit/French/American/Chinese fuck their country up trough some industrialization and pro-productivity-but-anti-quality-of-life policies, get rich doing it and then proceed to go to a country that has opted to stay out if it to enjoy what they could have at home but decided not to.

Resol van Lemmy

That actually makes sense. I really was saying nonsense.


Italy had a bit of a say in it...


Then why did you make it so beautiful in the first place

Imagine thinking the only reason your city should be a beautiful place to be is so that tourists can enjoy it.

Resol van Lemmy

That's probably a good point.