Ibiza Residents Protest Against Overtourism

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 27, 2024 19:30 PMNews
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Protest Against Mass Tourism A crowd with placards at a rally in Ibiza
Residents Rally Against Mass Tourism on Ibiza. Source: pixabay

Activists held protests against the impact of mass tourism on life in Ibiza. Demonstrations took place over May 25 and 26 to draw attention to the issues faced by the island's residents.

The organization Prou Ibiza reported that due to high housing prices, nurses and police officers were forced to live in cars and caravans. Medical operations and cancer treatments were being delayed because doctors could not afford to live on the island. Activists called on authorities to limit the number of tourist accommodations in Ibiza, one of Spain's most popular resorts. Protests occurred at the island's government offices, with demonstrations also held in Mallorca and Menorca.

Rafael Jimenez, a representative of Prou Ibiza and a local police officer, moved to mainland Spain because he could no longer tolerate mass tourism. "We are not against tourism itself. We have nothing against people who come and respect our island," he said. "But a side effect of mass tourism is rising housing prices. More restaurants require more workers, but these workers need places to live. Nurses and police officers live in caravans."

Ibiza residents complain that tourism was making life on the island extremely expensive. For example, Karla Andrade, a 36-year-old teacher, had to fly between Palma in Mallorca and Ibiza because she could not afford to rent housing in Ibiza. She took 40 flights a month to get to work. "I couldn't afford to live in Ibiza due to the cost of housing," she told a Spanish TV channel.

The rising cost of housing also negatively affected public services. Ivan Fidalgo from the Association of Civil Guards in the Balearic Islands noted that a shortage of workers in the public sector made it impossible to provide quality services, despite the island's status as a luxury resort. "They sell Ibiza as a first-class resort, but it's not because we don't even have public services since there's no one to work in them," he said.

Ibiza is not the first Spanish region to push back against mass tourism. In Tenerife, locals were also forced to sleep in cars and caves as housing was taken over by tourism organizations. In the coastal city of Malaga, walls and doors were plastered with stickers saying "go home" and "smells like tourist."

Protests against overtourism have also taken place in other European countries such as Switzerland and Italy, where locals are imposing restrictions on visiting popular tourist spots.

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