From Barcelona to Lake Como, locals are starting to campaign

It’s the summer of the Paris Olympics and Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour through European cities, but for locals this summer is already shaping up to be one of protests: Lake Como, Barcelona, ​​the Canary Islands, Venice and Amsterdam are residents are already fighting what they consider overtourism.

Locals in Barcelona wipe the bus route off the map to combat overtourism

Residents of La Salut often have to deal with tourists ramming bus number 116 towards Antoni Gaudí’s Park Güell, the second most visited attraction in Barcelona after the Sagrada Familia Basilica.

The guard reports that locals living on bus route 116 have successfully petitioned the city council to ask Google and Apple Maps to take the bus route offline. One local resident joked that the next thing would be to ask them to remove the park altogether.

Bloomberg however, states that a better solution could have been to increase bus fares or run more buses to the park to reduce overcrowding in the city.

Lake Como wants to introduce an entrance fee to combat overtourism, just like Venice

Italy’s lake is the third largest in the country and receives 1.4 million tourists a year, many of whom are day trippers, who generally do not bring in as much revenue as regular guests and locals who complain of overcrowding.

The mayor of Como says he wants to introduce an entrance fee to combat overtourism, reports EuroNews. Mayor Alessandro Rapinese is considering introducing a Venise-style daily tax (which will take up residence in Venice for the first time this week).

The area around Lake Como is seeing a huge influx of non-residents who buy houses in the area and then rent them out to tourists. Since 2016, the number of holiday homes and private rentals has increased by 673%.

By the way, residents of Venice recently protested against the entrance fee, because they believe the city needs a new vision that focuses on housing residents rather than controlling tourists – the city has more tourist beds than resident beds.

‘My misery; Your paradise’: the local population of the Canary Islands fights against overtourism

Locals in Spain’s Canary Islands are planning mass protests against what they say is the uncontrolled flow of tourists to the islands. In 2023, the archipelago received 14.1 million tourists, the highest number ever in a single year.

One group in Tenerife is planning a hunger strike over two new hotels and graffiti can be seen saying ‘tourists, go home’. Many residents take to the streets to protest. Like Lake Como, Venice and Barcelona, ​​a rise in rental costs has priced residents out of the local housing market.

Amsterdam says no to new hotels to combat overtourism

Dutch authorities have announced that no more hotels will be allowed to open in Amsterdam as the city curbs overtourism, reports say The Washington Post. New hotels are only given the green light on a one-out, one-in basis and even then, new hotels can only take the place of an old hotel if this is considered an improvement – ​​more sustainable than the previous one, for example. . The official statement stated that they wanted to ‘make and keep the city liveable for residents and visitors’.

The latest policy on new hotels is just one of a long list of measures to attract more sustainable tourists and tourist behavior. In recent years, the Dutch government has tried to discourage people from visiting just a few locations and promote more locations across the country – encouraged by the zeal with which local tourists trampled the tulip fields to take Instagram-worthy photos.

In 2023, the government launched a campaign specifically targeting British men aged 18 to 35 who traditionally wreak havoc in Amsterdam during bank holiday weekends – when so-called British tourists type certain terms into their search engines, such as ‘bachelor party in Amsterdam’, ‘cheap hotel Amsterdam’ or ‘pub crawl Amsterdam’ they see pop-ups informing them of high fines if they misbehave and risk returning to Britain with a criminal record.

Fears Netflix’s Ripley could increase overcrowding on Italy’s Amalfi Coast

Critics generally loved Andrew Scott’s version of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley on Netflix, but some locals worry it will bring even more crowds to a coast that is no less than a tourist or two.

The village of Atrani, featured in the show, is next to busy neighbor Amalfi (it’s a thirty-minute walk along the coast) and Airbnb (quoted in The guard) says bookings in the Atrani area have increased by 93% since the show aired. For this village of 800 residents, where the roads in and out are often rammed in the summer months, it increases fears that more visitors will spiral out of control.

As Bloomberg reports, Europe is the continent that is warming the fastest and so the issue of overtourism brings additional challenges: 2023 saw Europe’s largest ever forest fire and caused the most expensive flood.

In one of the first signs of water conflict between residents and tourists in 2024, northeastern Spain plans to restrict water access to tourists if the current drought continues. Catalonia would limit tourists staying in hotels to 100 liters (26 gallons) per day, although this does not include water used to refill swimming pools.