>> Major holiday hubs in Southern Europe are being overrun with tourists and residents say they've had enough. Overcrowding in some of the top hot spots this summer is fueling an angry backlash from locals. Across Italy to Croatia and Spain a sharp rise in tourism is making life unbearable for those who call it home.
Reuter's Rome correspondent Isla Binnie says protests have been largely peaceful, with a few exceptions.>> In Palma de Majorque, on the island of Majorque, some Mosque activists set off flares outside of a restaurant that was filled with tourists. And some of the behavior there was sufficiently serious that it prompted Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to come out and actually criticize the behavior.
He described it as extremist, and said that it was against common sense.>> Foreign visitors to Florence and Venice have surged almost 32% since 2009. Venetians have staged several demonstrations calling for better management of tourist arrivals to the floating city. The backlash has prompted many authorities to act.
Rome is considering limiting visitor numbers to parts of the eternal city like the Trevi Fountain. The popular Croatian port of Dubrovnik sees more than 5,000 cruise ship passengers flock to the city every day, it plans to limit vessel numbers. And Barcelona is set to introduce a new tourism tax.
>> Part of the reason for the recent increase in the number of visitors to Southern Europe is that there are security concerns about places on the other side of the Mediterranean which have typically attracted, primarily European tourists, places in North Africa and in Turkey.>> Residents who live in these holiday hubs are calling for further protective action.
They say they don't want the cities to lose their identities. The very identity that attracts tourist to the area in the first place.