'Tourists Go Home!' Greece demands 'ban' on UK tourists as harsh graffiti messages are spotted

Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece -Credit:Getty Images

Greece has joined the ranks of Lanzarote and Tenerife in calling for a 'ban' on UK tourists.

Echoing the sentiments of Majorca and Menorca against the impacts of tourism and holidays, Athens has become the latest city to voice its protest through stark graffiti messages demanding an end to 'over-tourism'. The capital's buildings are now canvases for unsettling messages aimed at visitors, with one stark warning reading: "Tourists Go Home! Greek State Kills".

Other slogans such as 'No Tourists No Hipsters' and 'Burn Airbnb' have been seen scrawled across Athens. Anna Theodorakis, who was displaced from her home in the Athenian district of Metaxourgio, expressed her despair to France24, describing the situation as "very depressing".

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She advocated for direct action, saying, "I think the answer is to go in the streets and block everything and just not do something because people are losing their homes."

Locals are concerned over the rising numbers of Airbnbs in the historic city, as tourists are blamed for 'wiping out traditional places'. A property developer said: "Eighty percent of this neighborhood are Airbnbs. Tourists who come here want to see the Greek culture, so if no more Greeks are living here, tourists won't want to come."

In April, Greece launched 'free' week-long holidays for around 25,000, mainly British, tourists who fled the 2023 Rhodes wildfires, as pat of the 'Rhodes Week' initiative. In reply to the story, a Brit said: "Spain will suffer heavy losses without tourism. Greece could not survive. Be careful what you wish for."

A second said: "Well if this spreads across all European holiday destinations, that will be the end of holidays abroad, unless you are wealthy, and can afford to go long haul. These countries will have their economies ruined, but it would also mean mass redundancies here, when travel agents, airlines and the rest, will no longer be required."

And a third typed: "I think the problem is with Air b&b. Back in the day, tourists stayed in hotels or rented villas through reputable companies. Now, anyone can…and does…rent out anywhere so there are way more places for people to stay more cheaply than hotels. So popular places are being swamped."