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Barcelona pushes laws to curb tourism

02 Mar 2017 | By NewsBytes Desk
Barcelona's war on tourism

Barcelona's Mayor Ada Colau has presented her strategic plan for tourism, which seeks to limit tourism in the city. The city has a population of 1.6 million, but received a whopping 32 million tourists last year.

Under the new plan the government seeks to regulate and limit tourism.

It will be done by introducing new taxes and regulations in the hospitality sector.

In context: Barcelona's war on tourism

TourismTourism in Barcelona

Barcelona is the most popular tourist destination in Spain and is among the top tourist destinations in the world. Tourism in Barcelona accounts for at least 14% of Spain's economy.

Tourism has also changed the professional demographics in Barcelona, with the hospitality sector being the primary occupation of locals.

It has also drastically increased the cost-of-living in the city for locals.

03 Jan 2017Barcelona bans new hotels in the city

Barcelona banned the construction of new hotels in the city center starting from 27 January.

In addition, the city has also made conditions more stringent for new hotels to be constructed in the outskirts of the city. The government seeks to reduce the number of tourists in the city.

However, the move has been widely criticized by the hotel industry.

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Ada Colau's Strategic Plan for Tourism 2020

Strategic PlanAda Colau's Strategic Plan for Tourism 2020

Mayor Ada Colau presented the plan as a means to govern tourism.

The plan seeks to raise parking fees of tourist buses in hot-spots, increase taxes on the hotel industry and reorganize traffic and pedestrian footfall in popular areas.

It will also seek to limit the number of tourists that can be present at a location at any given time.

Parking rates shoot up for tourists

Parking rates for tourist buses stopping at major tourist hot-spots as well as other popular destinations have been raised from from €4.50 to €34. This in turn will add to the cost of tickets for tourists.

LocalsDon't locals like tourists?

Locals have long been protesting the overwhelming tourist culture in Barcelona.

People say local shops and businesses had to close down to make room for bars and tourist-trap shopping.

In addition, relying on tourism has made employment a seasonal thing in Barcelona, a city which has almost 43% youth unemployment.

Property rates have skyrocketed, making it impossible for residents to afford housing.

The tragedy of Venice

Tourist overcrowding and skyrocketing cost of living has reduced Venice's population by almost a third within a generation. From 78,000, the population dropped to below 55,000 in one generation. Half the locals remaining in Venice are over 60, and only 9,000 are under 18.
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02 Mar 2017Barcelona pushes laws to curb tourism