Spain's tourist hotspot 'half empty' just days after anti-tourism protests

People arrive at Magaluf beach on July 30, 2020 in Mallorca, Spain
-Credit: (Image: Clara Margais/Getty Images)


A beloved Spanish holiday destination, popular among UK tourists, was reportedly 'half empty' this Bank Holiday Monday, sparking worry among local bar and restaurant owners. Magaluf, one of Majorca's busiest holiday resorts, is usually teeming with holidaymakers by the start of June.

However, photographs taken on May 27 depicted deserted sun loungers on the town's beaches and rows of unoccupied tables outside bars. This comes just days after demonstrators paraded through Majorca's capital, Palma, demanding the government to take 'immediate measures' to address the island's housing crisis and tourist overcrowding.

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The local newspaper, Majorca Daily Bulletin, voiced concerns that Magaluf seemed 'unusually quiet' on Monday, stating it was 'half empty if that'. It reported a sense of unease among business owners about the scarcity of tourists, while others maintained it was still bustling during the weekends.

One pub owner suggested that the anti-tourism protesters' 'wishes had been granted', with the onset of the peak holiday season in June now merely days away. Following the gathering of thousands in Palma on Saturday, organisers of the protest warned they would persist in their demonstrations until the Balearic government takes action.

One of the rally organisers, Javier Barbero, released a warning to local authorities in an interview when he said: "This has only just begun. If the reality is denied and still no measures are taken, we will take to the streets until they act.", reports Birmingham Live.

He emphasised that the group was not 'saying no to tourism' but stated: "We have to rethink the tourism model."

The protestors want the local council to curb the increasing rent prices in the area - a demand Balearic president, Marga Prohens, has outrightly refused. They are also calling for a legislative change, stipulating that a potential property buyer in Majorca must have first resided in the area for no less than five years.

According to data from Exceltur, Tourism contributes 45 per cent to the island's income. These protests have led some British tourists to reconsider visiting the area again.

One frequent visitor pointed out online: "They should be careful what they wish for."

Another holidaymaker suggested a different kind of protest: "Stop going to Spain for 12 months and they will be begging us to return."