Protesters shout at shocked holidaymakers enjoying dinner and drinks in Palma

Anti-tourism protest organisers vow ‘This is just the start’ after holidaymakers are booed and abused by 15,000-strong mob as they ate evening meals in Majorca

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Thousands of anti-tourism protesters paraded through the streets of Majorca this weekend, booing and jeering at foreign visitors in the first of many mass demonstrations planned by furious activist groups. 

An estimated 15,000 locals joined the protest that snaked through the capital Palma and headed for Weyler Square, where holidaymakers were out in force for dinner and drinks. 

Marchers were heard chanting ‘Tourists go home’ as they passed through the central square on the 20-minute route from a nearby park, carrying banners emblazoned with the message: ‘Salvem Mallorca, guiris arruix’ which in Catalan Spanish means ‘Let’s save Majorca, foreigners out’.

The colloquial expression ‘Guiri’ is used to describe the likes of British holidaymakers renowned for partying and heavy drinking, typically in a mildly offensive way.

Another placard said in Catalan: ‘Wherever you look, they’re all guiris.’

The Palma protest was organised by Banc del Temps, a group which hails from the inland Majorcan town of Sencelles and is outraged by the struggles locals face in affording homes on the island due to the higher prices owners can get for holiday rentals.

Following Saturday’s protest, Banc del Temps spokesman Javier Barbero issued a chilling warning.

‘This is just the start of things. If measures aren’t taken we will continue taking to the streets until we see action.’

Protesters shout at shocked holidaymakers enjoying dinner and drinks in Palma

Protesters shout at shocked holidaymakers enjoying dinner and drinks in Palma

An estimated 15,000 locals joined the protest that snaked through the capital Palma and headed for Weyler Square, where holidaymakers were out in force for dinner and drinks

An estimated 15,000 locals joined the protest that snaked through the capital Palma and headed for Weyler Square, where holidaymakers were out in force for dinner and drinks

The colloquial expression 'Guiri' is used to describe the likes of British holidaymakers renowned for partying and heavy drinking, typically in a mildly offensive way

The colloquial expression ‘Guiri’ is used to describe the likes of British holidaymakers renowned for partying and heavy drinking, typically in a mildly offensive way

Protesters carrying banners with anti-tourism slogans and banging drums gathered in the centre of the capital Palma

Protesters carrying banners with anti-tourism slogans and banging drums gathered in the centre of the capital Palma

Thousands of protesters overran the streets of Palma on Saturday evening

Thousands of protesters overran the streets of Palma on Saturday evening

Protesters hold a banner reading 'Mallorca is not for sale' during a demonstration to protest against the massification of tourism and housing prices

Protesters hold a banner reading ‘Mallorca is not for sale’ during a demonstration to protest against the massification of tourism and housing prices

Another campaign group that took part in Saturday’s demo, held under the slogan ‘Majorca is not up for sale,’ described the organisers afterwards as ‘heroes’, saying: ‘You are heroes and you have made history.

‘Now our government should open its doors wide open to you and call you to a meeting so that you can present your and our demands.

‘With 25,000 people behind you, you are an organisation that should be received this week by Balearic Islands’ government president Marga Prohens.

‘She should take note and put urgent measures in place.’

The manifesto Banc del Temps made public when protestors had finished marching through Palma included a demand that only people who had been living in the Balearic Islands for five years should be able buy property, and also called for a moratorium on holiday rentals.

One of its speakers said: ‘This island should be a place where our children can grow up with safety and dignity, with controlled tourism that doesn’t condition our lives.’

Some members of the Banc del Temps group told MailOnline how tourism has transformed once idyllic Spanish sun-spot, with residents now unable to rent or buy their own homes due to the spiralling cost of property.

Mother-of-three Patri Vecina told MailOnline: ‘We have lived in the same rented house for ten years. But in December the owner told us that he was selling the property to foreigners and that we had to move out.

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‘I work in the hotel industry and my husband is a builder. We cannot afford the inflated price of property in Majorca so we were never able to buy our own home.

‘Now we cannot afford to live in Majorca anymore we are moving to Asturias in the north of Spain.

‘It was our dream to bring up our children in Mallorca but that cannot happen.’

Patri and her husband were initially paying £500 per month for the rural three-bedroom house in the centre of the island. This increased to £690 per month before their landlord put the house up for sale.

The country house on the outskirts of the town of Sencelles is now for sale for £383,000.

The spike in the property prices has been fuelled foreign investors, many of whom have turned family homes in tourist rental accommodation, local campaigners claim.

Laura Lau, of Banc del Temps, told MailOnline: ‘Houses and apartment that were family homes have been bought by foreign investors who rent them out to tourists and leave nothing for local people. This is why property prices in Majorca have reached unaffordable levels.

‘We need to make people aware of the problem of housing in Majorca which already affects us all.

‘Every day there is someone looking for new housing because their rent has gone up or they are kicked out of their home because it has been put up for sale to foreigners.

‘We are in a housing emergency. The government needs to regulate the price of housing – there is no future for Majorca if the island is solely for the benefit of property speculators.’

Property prices in Majorca have more than doubled in the past ten years, making the Balearic islands the second most expensive region in Spain after Madrid.

Waiters and diners look on as thousands of protesters march past a restaurant

Waiters and diners look on as thousands of protesters march past a restaurant

Thousands of people demonstrated in the Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca against excess tourism, one of the main sources of wealth in the area, under the slogan 'Mallorca is not for sale'

Thousands of people demonstrated in the Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca against excess tourism, one of the main sources of wealth in the area, under the slogan ‘Mallorca is not for sale’

Protesters hold signs reading "For rent and I can't pay"

Protesters hold signs reading ‘For rent and I can’t pay’

Protesters hold signs reading 'Let's save Mallorca' and 'Foreigners out'

Protesters hold signs reading ‘Let’s save Mallorca’ and ‘Foreigners out’

Thousands of people demonstrated in the Spanish city of Palma

Thousands of people demonstrated in the Spanish city of Palma

Protesters hold a banner reading "Mallorca is not for sale" during a demonstration to protest against the massification of tourism and housing prices

Protesters hold a banner reading ‘Mallorca is not for sale’ during a demonstration to protest against the massification of tourism and housing prices

This weekend’s protest, the largest of its kind since last month’s Canary Islands’ demos against mass tourism, was the second in 24 hours in the Balearic Islands.

On Friday night around 1,000 protestors took part in a demo in Ibiza to vent their anger over the effects of mass tourism.

Campaigners held up banners saying ‘We don’t want an island of cement’ and ‘Tourism, yes but not like this’ as they massed outside Ibiza Council’s HQ.

The organisers of the Ibiza demo, a group called Prou Eivissa, met with Ibiza’s president Vicent Mari before taking to the streets as British tourists across the other side of the island in San Antonio drank themselves silly and dismissed a street drinking ban which could see them hit with fines of up to £1,300 if caught.

The protesters’ demands included a limit on the number of vehicles that can enter the island in summer and a ban on using taxpayers’ cash to promote Ibiza as a tourist destination.

A letter was read out at the end of the protest from an Ibiza-born woman who linked her decision to leave the island with her family and move to the Spanish mainland to a ‘destructive’ tourist model that had led to ‘more cars, more tourists and more incivility.’

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Another Majorcan-based association, called Menys Turisme, whose slogan is ‘Less Tourism, More Life’, is currently taking proposals for another more radical protest which could involve mass gathering outside hotels or on an iconic island beach.

The idea of an airport protest in the peak tourist season which involves collapsing Palma Airport with cars has also been discussed.

Anti-tourist graffiti has appeared in both Majorca and Tenerife in recent months.

Some foreign holidaymakers have shown their support for the issues raised by campaigners, while others have accused them of biting the hand that feeds them.

But the spiralling cost of property in Majorca is unquestionable.

People take part in a protest against mass tourism and gentrification in the island ahead of summer season in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, May 25, 2024

People take part in a protest against mass tourism and gentrification in the island ahead of summer season in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, May 25, 2024

People take part in a protest against mass tourism and gentrification in the island ahead of summer season in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, May 25, 2024

People take part in a protest against mass tourism and gentrification in the island ahead of summer season in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, May 25, 2024

Protesters hold a banner reading "Mallorca is not for sale" during a demonstration

Protesters hold a banner reading ‘Mallorca is not for sale’ during a demonstration

Protesters hold a sign reading "No to massification, less tourism, more life"

Protesters hold a sign reading ‘No to massification, less tourism, more life’

Thousands of people demonstrated in the Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca against excess tourism, one of the main sources of wealth in the area

Thousands of people demonstrated in the Spanish city of Palma de Mallorca against excess tourism, one of the main sources of wealth in the area

In 2014 a typical 80 square-metre home cost an average of £126,000 but this has gone up 208 per cent to an average £263,000, according to Spanish property website Fotocasa. 

The national increase across the whole of Spain was just 29 per cent during the same period.

The average salary in Majorca is about is about £1,277 per month or £15,324 per year, although the island’s minimum wage is just £965 per month or £11,580 per year.

Teacher Marga Gari told how her children will never be able to afford to buy their own homes because of the spiralling cost of living.

Marga, 50, told MailOnline: ‘Quite simply there are too many tourists. My children will never be able to buy their own homes because foreigners have pushed to price of property up.

‘Everything is more expensive than it should be because of tourists – food in the market, clothes in stores, everything.

‘You can hardly walk down the streets here in Palma because of the number of visitors. We do not blame the foreigners; we blame the government for letting things get this bad.

‘There needs to be limits; limits on the number of planes, a limit of one cruise ship per day and a limit on the number of rental cars.’

Ms Gari claims many items in Palma’s historic Mercat de l’Olivar central food market are now beyond the reach of local people.



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