Wave of vandalism in Girona businesses linked to cycling tourism

Cycling tourism in the city of Girona recovered strongly after the pandemic at the same time that businesses linked to this profile grew throughout the city, most in the old town.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 23:01
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Wave of vandalism in Girona businesses linked to cycling tourism

Cycling tourism in the city of Girona recovered strongly after the pandemic at the same time that businesses linked to this profile grew throughout the city, most in the old town.

From shops selling and renting bikes, to repair shops, selling sportswear or accessories, travel agencies or specialized bars, they have been occupying empty premises or those that have changed hands. In 2022 there were thirty stores linked to that sector in the city, a figure that is higher than today.

The cyclist tourist is a profile with great purchasing power, who stays in higher category hotels or in accommodation for tourist use, a modality that has increased considerably in recent years.

Girona has become a true mecca for professional and amateur cyclists and more and more people are choosing to live for long periods in the city either to train or practice their hobby throughout the entire region.

The geography, a benign climate most of the year, the lack of overcrowding and the tranquility of the destination are some of the attractions of the destination, which has had and has top-level professional cyclists.

However, in recent weeks some episodes of tourismphobia directed at businesses linked to cycling have been detected. In the demonstration on May 1, graffiti appeared in some establishments that read 'Go home!' or 'Enough of mass tourism' and during the early hours of Friday to Saturday, several sabotages were committed in businesses in the city, according to what Diari de Girona reported today.

According to the Mossos d'Esquadra, which has taken charge of the investigation, seven criminal acts have been recorded, the majority in bicycle establishments, which have suffered damage to their locks. The vandals introduced toothpicks or covered them with silicone.

The Girona City Council explains that only two of the owners have reported the incident to the Municipal Police. The Mossos are not aware of any more complaints, for now.

Given this situation, the mayor of Girona, Lluc Salellas, has denounced the events. “We must avoid these types of actions that prevent commercial establishments, whatever they may be, from being able to open. “We are working to ensure that this does not happen again in the city,” he said.

Salellas announced today that the City Council has been working for weeks on an action plan that aims to find "a balance between people who live in the city and those who run a business and want to carry out this activity normally."

The council will announce the first concrete measures of this plan before the summer, which will basically be aimed at improving security and mobility in the Barri Vell. It will also start in housing, in the promotion of local commerce and the language.

Just two weeks ago the City Council announced its intention to promote the use of the Catalan language in businesses linked to the bicycle sector in the city.