Boasting beautiful architecture, magnificent beaches, world-class cuisine, and a vibrant nightlife, Spain’s famous beach city consistently ranks as one of the world’s top tourist destinations. With an anticipated 7.6 million visitors this year, Barcelona is heating up, and you’d think the local government would be happy about all those tourism dollars. However, Mayor Ada Colau Ballano has a different view.
Colau, who leads a coalition of social activists that won municipal elections in May, has interests in environmentalism and social activism and says the tourism boom is making the city uninhabitable for its 1.7 million residents that actually live there. Overcrowding is rife, with popular areas like Las Ramblas becoming walled in with visitors. Earlier this year, the city went as far as banning tourists from the famous La Boquería Market by imposing restricted hours as a safety precaution measure. There are also time constraints around attractions like La Sagrada Familia Cathedral and Parc Güell, and the mayor said she plans to limit the number of new hotel rooms and short-term rentals as well.
Gildshire Editor, Mia Russell