In 2017, Barcelona saw 32 million tourists visit the city. The Catalan city decided that this is far too many and decided to pump the brakes for the next little while until 2020. The frenzy of tourists has caused the price of real estate to skyrocket, while benefitting hotels and tourist locations as opposed to the local people.
To fight against rising tourism, Mayor of Barcelona Ada Colau introduced the Strategic Plan For Tourism 2020. The goal of this plan is to “govern tourism”, through controlling the saturation of specific tourist areas and thus the rise in prices. As well as that, the city is looking to revitalise public areas through increased investments in renovations.
'We're becoming a tourist theme park'
Another measure to fight the increased prices for real estate in the city will see Barcelona introduce new property taxes targeting vacation homes and apartments. This combined with the prohibiting the construction of new hotels in the city centre will surely provide the results the city is looking for.
Janet Sanz, deputy mayor in charge of urban planning for the city, did not mince words when speaking about the current state of the city: ‘We understand that other people love our city. But we're becoming a tourist theme park, every time a grocery store closes and a souvenir shop takes its place. People live and work here. It's not just a fun weekend place’. Sad news for those of us looking to take a holiday in the Spanish city.