Soon tourist quotas in Barcelona? How the city fights against overcrowding

Soon tourist quotas in Barcelona? How the city fights against overcrowding
Soon tourist quotas in Barcelona? How the city fights against overcrowding

Like several European cities, such as Rome, Barcelona faces tourist overcrowding.

The phenomenon leads to saturation of transport and even housing, and annoys residents.

TF1’s 8 p.m. went to the site.

Follow the full coverage

The 8 p.m.

It is said that Barcelona is recognized by its architecture. But for around ten years, the Catalan city has stood out above all for its crowded streets, with graffiti or stickers inviting tourists to return home. “There are always a lot of people and the street is constantly full”confirms a woman in front of the camera on TF1’s 8 p.m., in the report visible at the top of this article.

In 2023 alone, Barcelona welcomed 15 million visitors.

Marty Cusso has always lived in the Gothic Quarter, where today you have to slip between vacationers. “The neighborhood has changed a lot. The development of tourism has had negative effects”he judges.

One of the direct consequences of tourism is that the price of rent has increased. In an alley where our journalists filmed, traditional businesses have given way to around fifteen souvenir and fast food shops.

The town hall plans to introduce tourist quotas

Same observation in the district of the famous Park Güell, visited by 15,000 people every day, where local residents cannot travel by bus. What solutions did they find? At the head of a collective, Maria Solanas obtained from the town hall to remove the Google bus line and transport applications. From now on, visitors therefore opt for walking. And when Maria takes the bus, she has the luxury of choosing her seat.

This measure is the latest in a plan to curb tourism. Another component plans to tackle tourist accommodation, which for eight years has been in the sights of the town hall. Example on a vacant lot where a hotel was to be built. But a local elected official obtained the cancellation of the project. Instead, there will be a student residence.

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Barcelona city center is now protected. In this area, it is prohibited to build or open new accommodation dedicated to tourism. And for their part, professionals in the sector seem to encourage these new regulations.

The City’s tourism deputy, whom we met, says he wants to regulate visitors to Barcelona. Even if it means increasing tourist taxes and imposing visitor quotas. “We have no desire to chase anyone away but we need the collaboration of tourists to better manage overcrowding. When we come to Barcelona, ​​we must respect the city”explains Jordi Valls.

Today, the challenge for Barcelona is to resolve a difficult equation: to ease the tensions of residents and preserve the sector’s financial windfall, because in 2023, tourists will have spent at least 9 billion euros on site.


The editorial staff of TF1info | TF1 report: E. Coussemacq, L. Gorgibus

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