Tourists may face “real violence” in Spain

Anti-tourism protests escalate across the country
Spain’s travel trade is warning that tourists could face a “serious violent incident” if anti-tourism protests in the destination persist.
A group of anarchist activists named Arran has launched a string of protests across the country, including an assault on a coach carrying tourists visiting Barcelona’s Camp Nou football stadium last week.
In Majorca, activists set off smoke flares outside a restaurant, while another group sprayed paint across the headquarters of the Basque Country tourist board in Bilbao.
The activists claim that tourism is destroying Spanish cities, driving up rents and forcing out young people.
Rafael Gallego, chair of the Spanish Association of Travel Agents, branded the protesters “fascists”, adding that he feared their actions could escalate.
“This tourismphobia has been worrying us since last summer. In 2016 we noted graffiti and there was an aggression with a glass against tourists who were on an excursion, so we alerted that the situation could radicalise, which is what we have seen,” Gallego told MailOnline.
“Now there are protests in the entrances of hotels, restaurants and in ports. The danger is that tomorrow there could be an incident of real violence.
“They call themselves left-wing but they are more fascist than the far-right. We are very worried that they might cause a serious incident with our visitors at any day.”
Gallego argues that Spain’s tourism industry has recovered the greatest numbers of jobs since the country faced an economic downturn in 2008.