Tourists in the Majorcan capital Palma have been branded 'terrorists' by some locals who believe the island has been overrun with visitors this summer.
Graffiti condemning tourists has been painted on walls in the city's old town, including slogans such as ‘Tourists go home. Refugees welcome,” and “Tourist you are the terrorist.”
With tourism a long-time mainstay of the Majorcan economy, the sentiments likely represent the views of a minority. But unrest in other East Med destinations like Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt has Spanish tourism overall at record highs, with nearly 10 million visitors in the month of July alone.
Majorca, with a population of less than 1 million, is expected to attract 3 million visitors from Britain alone this year. Some locals told the U.K.’s The Sun newspaper that they felt the crowds were changing the atmosphere in Palma's old town and straining resources, including water.
Palma’s visitor numbers are boosted by the almost daily arrival of cruise ships in high season, carrying as many as 4,000 pax each.
The Sun newspaper reported that it spoke to locals who were angry at the increase in arrivals. They quoted one who said: "We want fewer Brits here. Let them go somewhere else."
On the other hand, British vacationers interviewed by the publication said they were experiencing nothing but a warm welcome.