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'Go home': Overtourism sparks backlash in Spain

04/16/24 10:38 AM

Anti-tourism movements are multiplying in Spain, the world's second most visited country, prompting authorities to try and reconcile the interests of locals and the lucrative sector.Rallying under the slogan "The Canaries have a limit", a collective of groups on the archipelago off northwest Africa are planning a slew of protests on Saturday.The Canaries are known for volcanic landscapes and year-round sunshine and attracts millions of visitors from all over the world.Groups there want authorities to halt work on two new hotels on Tenerife, the largest and most developed of the archipelago's seven islands.They are also demanding that locals be given a greater say in the face of what they consider uncontrolled development which is harming the environment.Several members of the collective "Canaries Sold Out" also began an "indefinite" hunger strike last week to put pressure of the authorities."Our islands are a treasure that must be defended," the collective said.The Canaries received 16 million visitors last year, more than seven times its population of around 2.2 million people.This is an unsustainable level given the archipelago's limited resources, Victor Martin, a spokesman for the collective told a recent press briefing, calling it a "suicidal growth model".- 'Go home' -Similar anti-tourism movements have sprung up elsewhere in Spain and are active on social media.In the southern port of Malaga on the Costa del Sol, a centre of Spain's decades-old "soy y playa" or "sun and beach" tourism model, stickers with unfriendly slogans such as "This used to be my home" and "Go home" have appeared on the walls fn doors of tourist accommodations.In Barcelona and the Balearic Islands, activists have put up fake signs at the entrances to some popular beaches warning in English of the risk of "falling rocks" or "dangerous jellyfish".Locals complain a rise in listings of accommodation on short-term rental platforms such as Airbnb have worsened a housing shortage and caused rents to soar, especially in town centers.The influx of tourists also adds to noise and environmental pollution and taxes resources such as water, they add.In the northeastern region of Catalonia, which declared a drought emergency in February, anger is growing over the pressure exerted on depleted water reserves by hotels on the Costa Brava."There are tourist destinations that are at the limits of their capacity," said Jose Luis Zoreda, the vice president of tourism association Exceltur ."It's a problem that appears occasionally in the high season and in certain parts of the country, but it's getting worse".- Loudspeaker ban -Before the Covid-19 pandemic brought the global travel industry to its knees in 2020, protest movements against overtourism had already emerged in Spain, especially in Barcelona.Now that pandemic travel restrictions have been lifted, tourism is back with a vengeance -- Spain welcomed a record 85.1 million foreign visitors last year.In response, several cities have taken measures to try to limit overcrowding.The northern seaside city of San Sebastian last month limited the size of tourist groups in the centre to 25 people and banned the use of loudspeakers during guided tours.The southern city of Seville is mulling charging non-residents a fee to enter its landmark Plaza de Espana while Barcelona had removed a bus route popular with tourists from Google Maps to try to make more room for locals.Housing Minister Isabel Rodriguez said over the weekend that "action needs to be taken to limit the number of tourist flats" but stressed the government is "aware of the importance of the tourist sector", which accounts for 12.8 percent of Spain's Gross Domestic Product.

'People are dying!' Rep. Rosa DeLauro explodes with anger during foreign aid hearing

04/18/24 4:27 PM

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) did not contain her anger at Republicans Thursday over delays in funding aid to Ukraine.At a House Rules Committee hearing on three foreign aid packages for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, DeLauro was asked to comment on Republicans complaining about border security even though they killed a bill that would have helped stem undocumented immigration."In many respects, we continue to sit here and to deal with revisionist history here," the lawmaker replied. "Lest we forget, it was the Trump administration that violated the Impoundment Control Act, illegally withholding security assistance from Ukraine.""Let's not forget that when we think about what emboldened Putin, let us not forget the words of the former president, which everyone has invoked here today in some way or another, that Putin is his dearest friend," she continued. "Don't you think Putin is waiting very, very carefully to see another Trump administration?"I sat in the White House, not in a classified meeting, where Republican colleagues said that we won't have Ukraine without bipartisan border security."ALSO READ: Secret letter: FBI must accelerate arrest of violent J6ers or risk time expiringDeLauro noted that Donald Trump pushed Republicans to kill the border bill."And for months and months, we have been diddling around where people are dying in Ukraine," she remarked, raising her voice. "The moment is ours. And if the House of Representatives abdicates its responsibility, yes, the history will write the story. And that it is on us. When we had that moment, we said no. I, for one, will not say no.""We're standing by and [watching] Ukrainians die!" she added. "If that's the way we want to be remembered in history, it's certainly not the way I want to be remembered!"Watch the video below from the House Rules Committee.

11 Of The Best Things To Do In London This Mother's Day And Paddy's Day Weekend

03/17/23 5:02 PM

It's a Mother's Day *and* Paddy's Day double whammy, people.View Entire Post ›

Top US News

'American Idol' singer and Grammy winner Mandisa dies at 47

04/19/24 3:56 PM

Mandisa, who competed on season 5 of "American Idol," has died, the singer's rep confirmed to ABC News.

'Let her speak!' USC campus reels after valedictorian's speech is canceled

04/18/24 10:00 AM

On Wednesday, a smattering of protesters gathered by the landmark Tommy Trojan statue, some calling on USC President Carol Folt to reverse course as arguments broke out between those on opposing sides.

10-year-old boy confesses to fatally shooting a man in his sleep 2 years ago, Texas authorities say

04/19/24 7:39 PM

Authorities in Texas say a 10-year-old boy has confessed to an unsolved 2022 killing, telling investigators that he shot a man he did not know while the victim slept

Latest Sports News

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2020 Ballon d'Or Award Cancelled

07/20/20 1:18 PM

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