The Federation of Neighbourhood Associations of Barcelona (FAVB), an organisation combating the "touristification" of the Catalan capital, has recently come up with an unusual method to achieve its goal: instead of holding protests against local authorities' policies and assaulting buses with tourists, as some locals did during the summer of 2018, FAVB has started spreading leaflets among city visitors asking for a simple favour - "don't tell anyone that you have been in Barcelona".
La turistificació afecta la vida del veïnat. Amb l'acció #AmagaBarcelona, la @FAVBcn vol explicar als turistes que la ciutat necessita polítiques que fomentin el #DecreixementTurístic. #EscondeBarcelona😉— FAVB (@FAVBcn) 29 июля 2019 г.
🗓️Dimarts 30 de juliol
📌 Marina (Portal del Naixement) pic.twitter.com/wBTohKplRR
To be precise, the organisation is asking tourists to not spread word about the wonders of the Catalan capital and not even to post the photos they take during their visits on social media. The FAVB believes that such steps could reduce the city's fame and, as a result, the tourist influx.
"We wanted to make tourists aware that they can also do something in this regard. [FABV] does not pretend to blame them, but make them aware that they are part of the problem", FAVB President Ana Menéndez Martínez de Bartolomé stated.
Residents of Barcelona have been actively combating the increasing influx of tourists, while the city secured 12th place in the most visited cities ranking last year. Opponents of "touristification" staged protests, attacking tourist buses and smashing rental cars during the summer of 2018. Others resorted to more peaceful methods, like lobbying for changes at the city Council or posting anti-tourist posters across Barcelona.
Locals believe that the tourists contribute to the rising food, rent and housing prices in the city, making it unbearable for its inhabitants. Some also stress that the tourists' way of life, with late-night partying, also regularly causes disturbances, spoiling the lives of ordinary Barcelonans.