The holiday hotspots where fed-up locals want Brits to 'go home'

After tourism protesters targeted diners in Barcelona, Yahoo News UK looks at the other locations where locals are disgruntled.

TOPSHOT - Demonstrators put symbolic cordon on a bar-restaurant window during a protest against mass tourism on Barcelona's Las Ramblas alley, on July 6, 2024. Protests against mass tourism have multiplied in recent months across Spain, the world's second-most visited country. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP) (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators target diners during a protest against mass tourism on Barcelona's Las Ramblas alley on Saturday. (AFP via Getty Images)

Diners in Barcelona were sprayed with water pistols at the weekend during a protest against mass tourism in the city.

As well as remonstrating with diners who the protesters believed were tourists, hotel guests were also stopped in their tracks as entrances were taped up.

Barcelona, a popular destination for Britons, received more than 12 million tourists in 2023 and expects more over the course of this year. Thousands are said to have taken part in the protest.

It comes in a climate were other European favourites for British tourists are also seeing protests telling “low quality” Britons to go home.

BARCELONA, CATALONIA, SPAIN - 2024/07/06: Guests staying at a hotel in the area where the demonstration took place are seen confronting the protesters who were proclaiming slogans in front of the hotel door. More than 3,000 people demonstrated against the tourist overcrowding suffered by the city of Barcelona and in favor of tourism reduction policies. The demonstration involved symbolically closing hotel establishments, bars and restaurants while heading towards Barceloneta, one of the neighborhoods that suffers the most from the presence of tourism. (Photo by Paco Freire/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Guests staying at a hotel confront anti-tourism protesters in Barcelona on Saturday. (Getty Images)

So-called "overtourism" has infuriated locals in tourist resorts, with claims that visitors are damaging nature spots and overcrowding popular areas. This had led some areas to demand Brits to go home.

Here are some of those spots in which Britons are being told to stay away…

TENERIFE, SPAIN - APRIL 20: Thousands of people demonstrate against tourism policies on the island of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain on April 20, 2024.  In recent years, tourism policy in the Canary Islands has left little room for the local population. Currently, it is difficult to find a place to rent or buy a house due to the oversupply of tourist rentals. (Photo by Andres Gutierrez/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Thousands of people demonstrated against tourism policies on the island of Tenerife in April. (Getty Images)

In the Canary Islands, graffiti has started emerging in Tenerife declaring “Canaries have a limit”. The slogan was written across a road leading up to the Teide volcano.

Other signs reading "closed to tourists" have been seen around beaches.

The island council’s vice-president Lope Afonso described the graffiti as “vandalism” in an angry post on X. But his post was met with a backlash, with some accusing him of defending “attacks on natural spaces your British friends have done”.

Others accused tourists of parking “wherever they want”, straying off designated paths and camping and cooking in the Teide National Park.

As a result of issues in the park, Tenerife Council president Rosa Davila proposed a "tourist tax" that would see tourists charged to visit protected natural spaces. Carlos Tarife, deputy mayor for Tenerife capital Santa Cruz, has also urged British tourists to go elsewhere for cheap all-inclusive breaks.

Last year, officials in Amsterdam started a campaign that literally told British men to “stay away” if they planned to “go wild” on a visit to the capital.

A marketing campaign, promoted by Amsterdam’s mayor, targeted British men aged between 18 and 35 who were using search terms like “pub crawl Amsterdam” and “stag party Amsterdam” on search engines.

Targeted adverts showed people being arrested and jailed for antisocial behaviour, while another showed tourists taken to hospital after taking drugs in the city.

The campaign features a staged video showing a young man being arrested after he was found stumbling along the city's streets. The video is overlaid with red writing which reads: 'So coming to Amsterdam for a messy night? Stay away'
The campaign features a staged video showing a young man being arrested after he was found stumbling along the city's streets.

Officials hoped the adverts would dissuade “potential nuisance-causing visitors from the Netherlands”.

Deputy mayor Sofyan Mbarki added in a statement: “Visitors will remain welcome, but not if they misbehave and cause nuisance. In that case we as a city will say: rather not, stay away.”

Greeks battle to save beaches from invasion of commercial sunbeds
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Protesters demand end to the illegal spread of loungers and say sands must be free for all. (©Save Paros)
Greeks battle to save beaches from invasion of commercial sunbeds. (Save Paros)

A so-called "Towel Movement" emerged last year in Paros, Greece, by people fed up at not being able to find a free space on beaches. They said illegal operators were selling spots to British tourists who draped their towels over loungers to secure the spot.

The movement popped up in other parts of Greece as some 4.5 million British tourists flew there in 2022 as pandemic restrictions were lifted. The Save Paros Beaches group say illegal operators were charging €60 (£51.32) for tourists to rent an umbrella and two sunbeds for the day.

Campaigners argued beaches were for public use and should be enjoyed without payment. They said in a statement: “We claim our right to public space, our right to enjoy our beaches that are encroached upon by greedy, socially irresponsible businessmen who occupy beaches in their entirety or exceed their limits by up to 100 times the area they legally lease.”

Kostis Hatzidakis, Greece’s minister of national economy and finance, ordered police to increase patrols in popular areas. He said: “We will not give up the beaches to anyone.”

In Greece, the success of the tourist industry is making it difficult for local Greeks to keep up with surging property prices. Short-term rentals are booming, while chain stores are replacing local retailers. Residents are being forced out, with more than 40 percent of their disposable income spent on housing – more than in any other European country. . (France 24)
Graffiti against tourism is sprayed across doors in Athens, Greece. (France 24)

The Greek capital of Athens has seen a growing movement of residents furious with the 6.4 million tourists, many of whom are Britons, visiting the city every year. They say locals are pushed out of the area by foreigners buying up properties for themselves.

Properties are also being bought up by real estate companies who turn them into co-working spaces and Airbnb properties. Anna Theodorakis told France24 she was forced out of the Metaxourgio area. She said the number of Airbnbs was “wiping out the traditional places” and complained she felt like “a foreigner in my own country”.

Anti-tourist graffiti has been seen in Athens recently, while protests saw people chant: “They are taking our houses while they live in the Maldives.”

Aerial view of Varenna on lake Como, Lombardy, Italy
A tourist tax may soon be imposed in Como, Italy. (Getty)

Britons who visit Lake Como in Italy, one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, may soon be hit by a tourist tax in an attempt to combat overtourism.

Como’s mayor Alessandro Rapinese said recently it was “difficult to be mayor when you are fighting tourism”.

He told The Times: “We are already discussing the idea [of a tourist tax]. Revolutions begin with concrete measures and we are ready for this long journey.”

MALAGA, SPAIN - SEPT 28, 2019:  The Malagueta beach attracts tourists to relax by the sea with great mountain views, Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain
The popularity of Malaga to British tourists is starting to cause resentment with locals. (PA)

Malaga has long been a popular destination for Britons visiting Spain but it seems the years of tourism has led to resentment from locals.

This resentment has resulted in stickers being plastered on walls and doors across the city, telling visitors to “go f****** home”. Other stickers feature messages including “this used to be my home” and that the area was “stinking of tourist”.

Bar owner Dani Drunko is the man behind the “sticker initiative” that takes aim at visitors. He told local paper Diario Sur he was compelled to act after being “kicked out” of the home he lived in for a decade. He claimed his landlord refused to let him stay as he wanted to turn it into a short-term rental property for visitors.

A provisional wooden fence is partially blocking the beautiful view, as visitors take selfies with the landscape, in the tourist community of Hallstatt (district of Gmunden), Austria, on May 15, 2023. The Austrian village of Hallstatt -- popular among selfie-seekers -- has installed wooden barriers to obstruct the view in an effort to curb overtourism and restore calm. (Photo by REINHARD HÖRMANDINGER / APA / AFP) / Austria OUT (Photo by REINHARD HORMANDINGER/APA/AFP via Getty Images)
A provisional wooden fence partially blocked the view in Hallstatt, Austria, as visitors take selfies. (Getty)

The Austrian village of Hallstatt provides a stunning spot for tourists to take photos and selfies.

However, residents seem to have grown tired of the one million tourists that visit the destination every year.

In 2023, that frustration boiled over into a small-scale rebellion - and a fence was built to stop people from taking selfies and from making too much noise. It was later removed following a backlash.