Kevin Eagan - Apr 30, 2018

14 European cities, located mostly in Spain, have created a European network against mass tourism. The anti-tourism movement that rejects mass tourism is weaving a network to coordinate their actions and to condemn the excesses of activity in the cities.

Different organizations located in Barcelona, Venice, Malta, Málaga, Valencia, Palma and Lisbon, among other locations, have created the ‘SETNet’ network to put pressure on public administrations to change their tourism policies, as pointed out in their public statement.

Common Problems

The formal name of the platform is Network of Southern European Cities against Touristification, and in their initial statement, it says that their goal is to coerce governments to regulate tourism based on policies for social, economic and environmental sustainability.

This new anti-tourism network, as they pointed out in their rally in the city of Barcelona, recognizes that each city has its particular and specific conflicts, but they also inform that there are common problems among the cities with the largest tourist arrivals, in which the most important crisis is the decrease of the right to housing.

According to SETNet, tourism has also caused an “uncontrolled rise in prices” of properties in recent years.

Damages in Transport and Trade

The group also criticizes that the local trade is being transformed into a sale of “useless” items for the daily life of the inhabitants, and insists that in both squares and streets there is a “massification” (large groups of tourists) that hinders mobility and prevents residents from resting.

SETNet doesn’t address the issue of the economic income received by cities, or the renovations done to infrastructures that are undertaken to manage the tourist influx.

In their list of problems, they also add the “saturation” of the public transport network, the generation of pollution and waste, and the increasingly precarious working conditions of the population.

Alternatives to Replace Tourism

In summary, they state that in their cities there is a “banalization of both urban and natural environments, which have been turned into theme parks.”

When it comes to finding solutions, SETNet's proposals include limiting the tourism industry, having different tax policies for housing and accommodations, and reducing this activity overall by introducing “other socially and environmentally fair economies”.

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  1. Yes, I live in a South European touristic city. Not in one like Barcelona, Mallorca, Malaga or Madrid but I travel often to some of them. You can see that some neighborhouds are crowded of tourists till the point that locals cannot continue their normal life (residential buildings transformed in shadowes hotels thanks to Airbnb and simmilar platforms, public transport crowded at certain hours for tourists, normal shops or bars that have become souvenirs centers or tourism-focused restaurants with the standar pizza-pasta-paella menu at non-sense prices..).
    Besides, tourists are using the scarce water (inSouth Europe it is really scarce) as well as many other natural resources (larger airports, bigger roads, new spots to take pictures to upload to Facebook, more and more aerials for cell phones in any point...).

    So, tourism is a "pollutant" industry, as chemical or many others. Locals suffer it, although some businessmen (hotel owners, flat owners, low-cost airlines, et) are getting a lot of money from it and others just get a job.

    If pollution like CO2, particles, etc is regulated, even limiting the growth of some industries, Why shouldn't the tourism industry be regulated too, even limited?

    rufus (Spain)

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