Ibiza Locals Protest Mass Tourism During Affordable Housing Crisis

On Friday, Ibiza locals marched in protest against mass tourism on the island as part of a string of demonstrations that swept the Balearic and Canary Islands over the weekend.

At the rally organized by Prou Eivissa (“Enough Ibiza” in Catalan), about 1,000 protestors demanded a tourism moratorium, government incentives for hotels to reduce guest capacity, limiting the use of the island’s scarce water supply to fill private pools, a ban on using taxpayer dollars to promote Ibiza as a tourist destination, and a law restricting personal visitor vehicles, according to Diario de Ibiza.

Signs read, “We don’t want an island of cement” and “Tourism, yes but not like this,” according to The Times, as organizers advocated for the protection of locals who are being priced out of living on the island as luxury rentals displace affordable housing. 

“We want a limit on new tourist places and a ban on more illegal flats,” Prou Eivissa spokesperson Rafael Giménez told Reuters. “With less flats around on the market, it pushes up the price.”

Essential workers like nurses and police officers have been forced to live in cars and caravans, medical treatments have been delayed because doctors can’t afford to live on the island, and one teacher reportedly flies from Mallorca to Ibiza 40 times each month because she “could not afford to live in Ibiza with the cost of housing, according to EuroNews.

Ibiza’s an island, so housing is limited by definition. The law of supply and demand has totally broken down,” Giménez told The Guardian.

“The fact that you have more tourists and more tourist properties means that you need more workers from elsewhere to work in the shops, bars and restaurants,” he continued.

Earlier this month, Balearic authorities placed tighter bans on public drinking and alcohol sales after 9:30PM in party hotspots like San Antonio in Ibiza and Playa de Palma and Magaluf in Mallorca, in a continued effort to “curb anti-social behavior” from tourists.

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Written by
Peter Volpe

Journalism student at The Ohio State University with a passion for culture and fat basslines.

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