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These Popular European Islands Are Telling Tourists To Go Home

Under the slogan “Let’s Change the Course, Let’s Put Limits on Tourism,” the popular Spanish islands of Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera have joined forces to fight the negative social, employment and ecological impacts of “devouring tourism.”

Last Friday, the GOB released a statement speaking about the initiatives designed for the four islands, including the campaign “Via Menorca, a Pact for the Economy and Sustainability of Menorca,” which on June 8 filled the Plaza Biosfera de Mahón, as well as the network of social movements of Ibiza and Formentera and other organizations such as the platforms “Change the Course” and “Less Tourism, More Life,” of Mallorca.

The main objective is to start “an intense season of protests” that extends across the four islands against the “disastrous impacts” of the current tourism model.

According to the organization, houses, social services, education, natural resources, the sea and beaches have become “speculative assets.”

The most recent demonstration against tourism occurred over the weekend during the Sant Joan festivities in Ciudadela, Menorca. 

Source: Majorca Daily Bulletin

Local protesters broke into the celebrations and asked tourists from Mallorca and Catalonia to leave their island right away.

Menorcans were wearing T-shirts with the slogans “Catalans Go Home” and “Mallorquins Go Home,” since they consider Sant Joan to be a cultural festivity, not a business. “Sant Joan is not a business; it is a feeling. Enough of overcrowding,” a banner read.

Between June and October 2023 alone, Menorca received 1,479,556 tourists, an unbearable number for a small island of only 100,866 residents.

Binibeca Vell, Menorca’s “Mykonos,” has restricted access to tourists to the complex since May 1 to prevent overtourism.

The owners of the 195 houses have decided to only open the gates to the complex from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm from now on.

The almost 1 million tourists who visit their community every year do more harm than good, they say.

Óscar Monge, the president of homeowners, will propose the definitive closure of the complex at the next general meeting on August 10. Among other issues, the properties have lost market value because people no longer want to live there.  

They will also demand higher compensation from the government to mitigate the damage caused by tourists.

“We have been a private urbanization for 52 years, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for us to enjoy a quiet holiday, as we pay dearly for being the most popular tourist attraction in Menorca,” said  Monge.

Following the massive demonstrations that took place on May 24–25 in Ibiza and Palma to demand the end of mass tourism, Menorcans “dressed up as tourists” to protest at a government venue.

Wearing sandals with socks and lots of sunblock, residents came to “-overcrowd- the Council headquarters so that the government understands that this is not the type of tourism we want.”

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