Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Furious locals in Spain seaside town rope off prettiest streets to ‘keep tourists out’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun7,2024

Angry locals at a Menorca holiday hotspot have closed off entire streets in a bid to keep out tourists, as tensions over visitor numbers reach boiling point.

Spain has been gripped by anti-tourism fever in recent weeks and months, with local communities in popular resorts demanding a cap on visitor numbers.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Tenerife in April, as locals protested against mass tourism.

One of the most popular tourist destinations is the Balearic Islands, which attracted 18 million visitors in 2023.

Binibeca Vell is a small coastal village of 195 homeowners located on the island of Menorca.

Its narrow streets and whitewashed houses have led it to being dubbed the “Mykonos of Spain”.

Every year around 800,000 tourists pile into its streets, eager to experience the beauty of the place and soak up its unique atmosphere.

However, the 500 locals living there have complained of unruly behaviour by some of the visitors, whom they accuse of disrespecting their properties and intruding into their private lives.

Now it appears locals are no longer willing to tolerate such abuses and have decided to take matters into their own hands.

New photos show many streets and areas cordoned off by ropes and chains, with signs indicating “No Entry”.

It is just the latest step in a raging feud between the community and Spanish authorities on the island.

The president of the village’s residents association, Óscar Monge, accused the Menorca government of neglecting to control tourism on the island.

He said: “Binibeca is promoted by the administration and tourism companies, but what benefit do we get out of it? We pay dearly for being the most potent tourist attraction in Menorca.”

The residents organisation receives €25,000 (£21,286) per year from the local government for repair and maintenance work to buildings.

Mr Monge, however, feels that the sum of money is not enough and has sought a strategy for sustainable management of the region.

“It’s outrageous that the politicians who run local tourism are telling us that the only alternatives we have to keep the place clean are to close it, privatise it or start charging,” he said.

Locals are planning to hold a vote in August on whether to ban tourists altogether as their patience wears thin.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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