Overcrowding in popular European tourist destinations like Rome, Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik is leading to backlash and severe protests from the city residents. The citizens from these major southern cities of Europe are protesting against the tourists that are flooding their streets and crowding their museums and historical sites.
Tourists in these places are experiencing protests from locals, and even physical intimidation and “Go Home” graffiti. Recent street art in Barcelona even went as far as depicting a black silhouetted figure with a red target on its head and a caption that read: “Why call it tourist season if we can’t shoot them?”
Last month, the citizens of Venice marched through a crowd of tourists, protesting their vast numbers behind a sign that read, “My future is Venice.” Actor and Venetian resident Alessandro Bressanello said, “Everyone should be able to come here but this invasion creates real problems for Venetians and the city. It creates infinite amounts of rubbish and noise.”
Croatia’s Adriatic port city of Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage site. But here also, the city at risk from overcrowding, prompting local authorities to consider cutting the number of cruise ship visits from five-per-day to two. Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic recently said, “It must never happen again that more than two cruise ships come to the town at the same moment.”
Rome is also considering restricting the number of people visiting its major attractions like the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain — where Mayor Virginia Raggi recently made it illegal for anyone to drink alcohol at night. Even cosmopolitan Barcelona is writing a tourism tax. Recently, an anti-tourist group donned masks and set off flares outside of a crowded restaurant filled with visitors before they ran inside and threw confetti at the patrons.