travel

This will make you feel better about not being in Europe right now.

If your social media feeds are flooded with friends, family (or foes) enjoying the high life in Europe right now, just remember it's not all rosy. In fact, they're probably pretty hated.

Although travellers bring money to the destination's local economy, their touristy antics aren't exactly adored by the locals in Europe. Especially in Mallorca.

It's known as party island central in the Mediterranean, and regularly sees almost four million Germans and two million Brits visit every year. The locals wish this wasn't the case.

This week, thousands of Mallorca residents packed the streets to rally against tourism on their island.

They were calling for stricter limits on tourist numbers, saying that the influx of visitors has put too much pressure on public services, harmed the natural landscape and made local access to housing limited.

The placards were quite telling too, some reading: "Your paradise is our nightmare", "Your luxury, our misery", and even "It's numbers: 1,232,014 residents, 18 million tourists."

They aren't happy... Image: Getty.

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We've seen similar scenes in Mallorca before.

Just last year, protestors placed fake signs on beaches in order to keep tourists away. Written in big letters, mostly in English, the signs warned of jellyfish in the area and falling rocks near the beach's deck chairs. But underneath the giant warnings in English was the fine print, written in Catalan, which translated to: "Open beach. Not to jellyfish nor foreigners."

So anyone who didn't speak the local language or Spanish — aka the majority of tourists — was tricked into vacating the area for 'safety reasons'. Awkward!

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Earlier this month thousands of Barcelona residents protested the city's over-tourism, with the term 'touristphobia' summing up the mood succinctly. British, American, even Aussie diners were enjoying their summer meals in the city's restaurants, making the most of their very expensive holidays. Then the locals descended.

Residents sprayed water pistols at confused diners, chanting "tourists go home" and "my city's not your fun park".

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It probably made for a pretty terrible dinner experience, but it had the desired effect, with holiday-goers grabbing their bags, paying for their quickly eaten meals and rushing back to the comfort (and likely safety) of their hotels. Not very Instagram-worthy.

The protest comes after the mayor of Barcelona recently pledged to eliminate short-term tourist lets in the city within five years. The government has also hiked the daily tourist charge for the second time this year.

For years now, certain anti-tourist groups have been slashing tyres of local hire cars or breaking the windows of five-star hotels, some holding placards that read "Barcelona is not for sale." 

Organisers of the protests say the "massive" influx of tourists "exacerbates" social inequality, housing access, environmental issues and more, as per Catalan News.

Barcelona locals have been calling for restrictions on tourist numbers for years now. Image: Getty.

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The current drama among Parisians ahead of the Paris Olympic Games may also create a hostile environment for tourists.

The Seine River is now the place of a planned mass poo protest.

Parisians on TikTok are pleading for travellers to not come to their city for the Olympics, simply declaring: "Don't come. Cancel everything."

France's government has also since updated a decade-old hospitality campaign called 'Do You Speak Touriste?', in a bid to remind local businesses and the chamber of commerce how best to interact with international travellers.

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Italy, too, has had enough — at least when it comes to their main cities.

Florence is crammed. Romans can't stand the sight of visitors eating their spaghetti with the dreaded fork and spoon. 

And now some cities are taking action. Milan is now proposing a ban on pizza and gelato after midnight in a bid to reduce the number of late-night city revellers and noisy partygoers — most of whom are holidayers living large.

Two million visitors pile into Venice each year, and yet the local population has dwindled down to just 55,000. They've likely reached their breaking point, with cruise ships causing chaos and pollution at an all-time high. Now, a fee for day trippers who want to access the city has been introduced in a bid to curb over-tourism.

And in Portofino, the local government has introduced legislation to dissuade tourists lingering for selfies in "no-waiting zones". Theze zones are, of course, the most photogenic hotspots showcasing the Italian riviera. But it's not worth the selfie, as fines run as high as $430 dollars.

So if, for whatever reason, you didn't manage to book that fabulous Euro summer for yourself this year... maybe it's not the worst thing. 

This article was originally published on July 9th, and has since been updated with new information.

Feature Image: Getty/BBC/X.