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Aug 12, 6:40 AM EDT

Barcelona residents protest unchecked growth of mass tourism

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Around a hundred Barcelona residents have gathered on the Spanish city's beach to protest the unchecked growth of mass tourism to the popular vacation destination.

The protest was organized Saturday by a local residents' group under the theme "Recover the beach for everyone!"

They say the influx of tourists has increased the price of rents and driven a spike in rowdy behavior by party-seeking foreigners.

Tensions have been growing between authorities and radical leftist groups who launched a campaign of vandalism against mass tourism in Barcelona and other parts of Spain.

Spain, a country of 46 million, received 75.3 million tourists in 2016. The number of arriving tourists increased by 12 percent in the first six months of this year.

Tourism accounts for 11 percent of Spain's gross domestic product.

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