‘Tourists go home’ protest island restaurants moan at lunging profits | Europe | Travel

Restaurant owners on an island recently hit with ‘tourists go home’ demonstrations have reported significant drops in revenue. Local media reported that though there were plenty of tourists, their spending seemed to be reduced.

Protesters flocked by the hundreds last week to occupy a popular beach on the island, delivering a stern message to the holidaymakers: “go home”. Island residents are pleading for a limit on visitor numbers due to affordability issues and overcrowding concerns.

In recent weeks, demonstrations have sprung up across the island condemning mass tourism, a trend also noticeable across Spanish vacation hotspots like the Canary Islands and Ibiza. Locals voiced their worry over the environmental impact, surging property prices, and overcrowding brought by massive tourist presence.

Alfonso Robledo, President of Majorca’s CAEB restaurant association, noted a decrease starting last summer but said it becoming significantly noticeable this month, the Majorca Daily Bulletin reported. Mr Robledo said: “Before, there was no difference between Mondays and Saturdays. We were always full because people who are on holiday don’t take into account whether it is a working day or a public holiday.

“This year, however, customers are leaving their dinners or lunches for the weekends. We don’t understand what is happening because there are more and more tourists.”

He also noted that holidaymakers who do frequent bars and restaurants have reduced their spending, stating: “Now they are much more restrained and more careful about what they consume.”

He expressed: “Until now, June had always been a good month, giving a taste of what the tourist season could bring. However, this year we are having, in particular, study trips, which has always been the case, and stag and hen parties. These people do not spend and we are missing the tourists with a medium-high purchasing power who used to visit the island before the massive arrival of travellers in July and August.”

Pedro Fiol, the president of the travel agency association Aviba, commented that fewer tourists are visiting Majorca. “If it weren’t for tourism, which continues to push these figures upwards, Majorca would have averages similar to those of an urban destination,” he cautioned.

He further claimed that “Palma city is dragging these figures down”. Marvin, a local resident, voiced his frustration in response to the local media outlet’s story, saying: “Whenever there’s a slowdown or dip, the Majorcans almost always put the prices up. It’s insane economics and is going to bite them harder and harder as more punters refuse to pay stupid prices for mainly mediocre fare.”

Another commented to say: “Most Majorcan restaurants are extremely expensive for what is offered.” A regular said: “A restaurant/bar I visit sometimes across the road from a beach just outside Palma has doubled its prices within the space of one year. And so rocking up on Friday for lunch not having made a reservation and fearing being turned away I had the pick of tables. Most tourists and locals just won’t pay 25 Euros for a simple fish dish with vegetables at a place that used to charge 13 Euros for the same plate.”

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