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Protests against over-tourism start in the Balearic Islands 

This weekend saw thousands rallying in the Balearic Islands, voicing their concerns over mass tourism and overcrowding. 

Demonstrators in Menorca and Mallorca took to the streets on Saturday, highlighting ongoing protests against the “massification” of tourism across Spain’s island regions.

Despite tourism contributing to approximately 45% of the Balearic Islands’ GDP, as reported by industry organisation Exceltur, protestors argue that vacation rentals are making housing unaffordable for locals. 

This recent demonstration is part of a broader wave of protests against mass tourism on Spanish islands. Earlier this year, thousands of people protested against mass tourism in the Canary Islands, which are also hugely popular with tourists. During the protests, residents said that the region was “not for sale”. 

Coinciding with an anti-tourist march in Barcelona and following a 1,000-strong protest in Ibiza just a day earlier, the demonstrations in Menorca and Mallorca drew significant attention. 

According to a Spanish National Police spokesperson, around 10,000 individuals participated in the Mallorca protest, with a few hundred marching in Menorca.

The Balearic Group of Ornithology and Nature Protection of Menorca (GOB Menorca) expressed on their website their opposition to the excessive tourism, housing accessibility issues, water management challenges, and the need for economic diversification on the island. 

In a social media post, the group described how demonstrators transformed Menorca’s Plaza de la Biosfera into a makeshift beach scene, complete with deckchairs, towels, and sunglasses.

Rafael Gimenez, a spokesman for Prou Ibiza, a group that organised the latest protest, said: “We want a limit on new tourist places and a ban on more illegal flats. With fewer flats around on the market, it pushes up the price.”

Another organiser for the event said: “We want the authorities to stop people who have not lived here more than five years from buying properties and to put more controls on holiday accommodation.”

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