Cities for rent, tourist apartments out of control in the centre, streets full of people. These are just some of the not so pleasant consequences of tourism. A sector that’s recording figures like never before, while also infuriating neighbours and activists who fear the quality of life in their city is getting worse by the day.
The international press has recently reported on several incidents that have occurred in Palma de Mallorca, Catalonia and other parts of Spain. Numerous institutions and organisations are now demanding quality and not quantity when it comes to tourism.
One example of this is Barcelona, the metropolitan area regularly receives up to 30,000 tourists from cruise ships docking in the city at the weekends. This is a huge number of people that’s increasingly difficult for the city to absorb and manage.
This makes it necessary to take new measures to curb the flow of tourism and reconcile it with with the daily life of Spanish citizens.
The Spanish Federation of Journalists and Writers of Tourism (FEPET) has condemned the incidents that in its opinion could prove to be a “major disincentive” or even a “rejection” of Spanish tourism.
In a statement, the federation said recent incidents, which it says are “infecting” the Basque Country and its members consider to be an attack on tourism are setting “a dangerous precedent”.
Journalists and writers specialised in tourism recall Spain’s renowned hospitality and tourism status as a “clean” industry that provides “their largest source of income”.
Also, the guidelines of the UNWTO, which has its headquarters in Spain, are aimed towards managing a more sustainable and environmentally form of tourism and reduce the impact of excessive tourism.
“The path designed by the United Nations agency should serve as a guide to the Spanish tourism authorities for their assertive intervention in protecting our principal source of income” adds the Federation.