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Mass tourism has been put under the spotlight in the Spanish city of Barcelona as protestors sprayed visitors with water.

Areas popular with tourists were the centre of attention over the weekend as the demonstrators chanted “Tourists go home” while spraying them with water guns.

Some carried posters saying “Barcelona is not for sale”.

The protests come amid locals in Barcelona complaining that tourists increase prices and put too much pressure on public services.

CNN reports that according to official figures, 26 million visitors made an overnight stay in the Barcelona region in 2023, spending 12.75 billion euros.

The Assemblea de Barris pel Decreixement Turistic also said the profits gained from tourists spending their money are unfairly distributed and increase social inequality.

The group also organised similar protests in the Canary Islands and Mallorca.

Barcelona mayor Jaume Collboni has said that from June 2024, the city will no longer allow short-term rental licences for more than 10,000 apartments.

Locals have complained that they’re struggling to get housing because landlords prefer to rent to tourists for shorter terms and still make amounts like what they would get if they rented it out to locals at cheaper prices.

Image credit: The Independent

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