Published On: Sat, Aug 12th, 2017

Furious Barcelona residents storm beach to reclaim it from drunken tourists

At least 100 activists were joined by local residents on the sandy shore to voice their anger against a recent spike in rowdy behaviour by visiting foreigners.

The protests were held just yards away from bleary-eyed partygoers who were seen sleeping off their heavy nights on the town.

Tensions have been on the rise in the Catalan capital, following a campaign against mass tourism across Spain.

Multiple groups in Barcelona have merged together in a campaign against tourism in the city, with numerous incidents of violence, vandalism and severe public disorder.

Protest group Arran Països Catalans has warned of more attacks, with fresh threats of violence spreading to Majorca.

Earlier this week, radicals carrying flare guns were seen targeting diners at a Marina restaurant in Palma, screaming “go home”.

A number of public spaces have also been defaced with stickers carrying the slogans “Tourism kills the city” and “Tourists go home”.

The Arran group operates in the areas of Spain where Catalan and its variants are spoken, including the Balearic Islands and the Valencia region.

Barcelona has been heavily marketed as a tourist destination over the last quarter of a century, with the 1992 Olympics transforming the city’s image from that of a crime-ridden, dirty port to a metropolis of high art, culture, cuisine and fun.

It is estimated to attract in excess of 32 million visitors a year, including cruise passengers and day-trippers.

However, this influx of tourists has come at a price for the city’s 1.6 million residents, many of whom think their home is being damaged by its never-ending popularity.

Local authorities have cracked down of tourists’ behaviour as part of efforts to placate locals.

With fines issued for public nudity and sexual activity in public, authorities are also considering banning alcohol sales at airports or on flights, while hoteliers in the country have started blacklisting the unruliest of guests.

Police presences in most resorts have also doubled over this summer, with more than 2,600 officers on patrol.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK has not amended its travel advice for Spain yet, but continues to monitor the ongoing situation.

A spokesman said: “We are also in contact with the local authorities. There is no specific update to our travel guidance but we keep it under constant review.”

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