MADID: Spain is suffering a drop in the number of tourists arriving from northern Europe, sparking fears wealthy visitors from Britain and Germany have “betrayed” the sunny country and have chosen to holiday elsewhere after months of anti-tourism campaigns.
Alarming new figures revealed that 4.9 percent fewer tourists from Germany, France and the UK travelled to Spain in July 2018 than during the same period in 2017.
Despite welcoming 10 million holidaymakers the country noticed a significant slump in the arrivals of those tourists that spend the most during their holidays for the first time since April 2010, according to the report from the country’s National Institute of Statistics (INE).
Spain has historically been a favourite holiday hotspot for Britons, but anti-tourist protests over the past few years seems to have scared off many.
El Mundo, the country’s second-largest paper, lashed out at those who chose other destinations during this summer, branding them as “traitors” in an article.
El Mundo wrote: “Although the situation may be temporary, due to a series of extraordinary circumstances, those in charge of the tourism sector begin to be worried.
“Northern Europe has enjoyed an extraordinary summer with very high temperatures, and in the case of Britain the weakness of the pound has caused the countries of the eurozone to be more expensive than a year ago but, above all, some of our competitors, on the other side of the Mediterranean, have begun to recover from a deep crisis caused by so-called terrorist attacks.”
In the article, titled “what are the new destinations of the German and British tourists that have ‘betrayed’ us?” the paper drew a list of cities believed to be the new favourites of Britons, Germans and
Holidaymakers have faced a series of protests from locals in iconic hotspots, including Barcelona and the island of Majorca.
Last year, visitors were confronted with activists from anti-tourist group Arran Palma, based in Majorca, who threw confetti at diners and let off flares around yachts.
And British tourists on a sightseeing bus in Barcelona were left terrified by four masked men who slashed their vehicle’s tyres and sprayed it with graffiti.
Elsewhere, in popular resorts like Palma and Magaluf, visitors have found signs warning they are “not welcome” and urging them to “go home.