A photograph of the so-called "anti-tourism" banner which was unfurled at the Cathedral yesterday will probably appear in many newspapers across the globe. But it is not really aimed at tourists; rather at local businesspeople involved in tourism. So not anti-tourism more anti-tourism business. Arran blame the local business community for encouraging mass tourism.
Before we get too carried away with the so-called anti-tourism movement, I think we should be looking at their rhetoric. They are opposed to the present model of tourism because they believe that too many holidaymakers are coming here and it is too overcrowded. I don't agree with them, but some might say they have a point. Over the last two or three years it had appeared that there were too many tourists here. Palma was overcrowded and I heard complaints from residents and tourists alike. But I do not really think that Arran should be protesting this year, because there are few tourists about. In fact, some would say that there are far too few. I have heard that in some parts of the island the level of hotel occupancy is well below normal.
There is no need to protest, because the island is not overcrowded. But these protests are going to become especially relevant in the weeks and months to come when the fall in the number of tourists has an impact on the local economy. We need tourists, it is as simple as that.