Barcelona is one of the biggest cities in Spain, second only to the capital, Madrid. It has a beautiful climate with lofty landscapes and architecture that will make the temples swoon. As large as it is, it is just home to about 1.6 million people; however, it is a juicy place for tourism—about 32 million people visit every year. Check here for the list of online travel agencies. While this is a good thing for Barcelona as a city-state in terms of revenue, it is difficult for locals to survive each year. You should check BritainReviews for reviews of travel agencies in the UK.
What are the Problems of Tourism in Barcelona?
Locals show their reluctance to accept tourists into Barcelona through many means; by inscribing their intent on the buildings. After the 1992 Olympic games, Barcelona became a hot spot for many people to travel to for a vacation. To accommodate these people, the government gave the city a facelift, further improving its beauty. However, while this action brought in more people, it strained the city’s resources to accommodate them. The problems with tourism in Barcelona are;
They—the tourists—are arriving at once
Barcelona’s issue with tourism is that they (the tourists) are all arriving at once. In a study by Dr Harold Goodwin, he suggests that about 35,000 people are coming to walk up the La Rambla, a tourist sight in the city. Apart from the congestion, money is spent primarily in tourist cafes and souvenir stalls, leaving less money in the town.
Locals cannot afford the increasing rent
The high demand for tourist accommodation results in landlords increasing the rent, which many locals cannot afford. This affects their quality of life, but it also affects their capability to live in their homes. Also, people are losing their jobs at an alarming rate because of the economy’s focus—tourism currently holds about 12% of Barcelona’s economy.
Loss of identity
The tourists have to be given the best treatment, even if it comes at the expense of a local. They must be satisfied and taken care of sometimes without regard to the culture of the locality. And this is because Many locals are citing a loss of identity in their city and have shown a dangerous trend to tourism is a big moneymaker. commit antisocial acts to protect their heritage.
It is no news that an overcrowded city will battle the menace of pollution, and Barcelona is no exception to this well-known trend. As the population of the town increases each year, through the influx of tourists, it makes it harder to deal with pollution—whether noise, air, water, and land pollution. In 2019, Barcelona’s port was ranked as the most polluted port in Europe, alongside Palma.
What are the policies in place to manage the issue?
Residents have taken to the streets to protest the influx of tourists into their beloved city, demanding that tourists return home. Some of these protests have been violent, creating much concern among the city officials. The government has taken drastic measures to curb “overtourism,” like segregating tourists and residents.
They have also stopped issuing licenses for tourist accommodation and passed a law to reduce the number of short-term private lets. The government acknowledges the importance of tourism to the economy and its devastating effects on the people of Barcelona, which is why they launched the Strategic Plan for Tourism 2020, which would focus on making tourism sustainable in the city.