Friday, January 27, 2017

The problem of too many tourists

For 25 years Barcelona promoted itself as a tourist destination. Now it is a victim of its own success. The resident population of 1.6 million is swamped by 32 million visitors per year, many of whom are day trippers.

To try and curb this problem a new law will be passed to limit the number of beds along with a moratorium on building any more new hotels.

There are 75,000 hotel beds in the city, 50,000 beds in legal tourist apartments and an estimated further 50,000 in illegal tourist apartments.

The other issue for residents is the price they have to pay to live in the city, rents are the highest in Spain and wages in the tourist and restaurant sector are lower than the national average.

As you might expect, the tourist industry is in fierce opposition to the new law. They point out that tourists account for 12% of the city's GDP. They also claim that the majority of tourists (23 million) are day trippers who spend very little, therefore restricting beds will have little effect on the problem.

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