“That's enough !” : Barcelonans in the streets to put limits on tourism

"That's enough !" : Barcelonans in the streets to put limits on tourism

Près de 3 000 manifestants ont défilé dans les rues de Barcelone interpellant parfois des touristes. EFE – TONI ALBIR

Près de 3000 manifestants ont demandé d'en finir avec le surtourisme observé dans la capitale de Catalogne où les prix des loyers ont flambé et où les gens ont de plus en plus de mal à se loger.

After Malaga and Cádiz, the people of Barcelona took to the streets massively on Saturday July 6 to demonstrate against overtourism.

Nearly 3,000 demonstrators marched in the capital of Catalonia, the most visited city in Spain, with 12 million tourists welcomed in 2023, behind this slogan: "Enough! Let's put limits on tourism". And speak out against the deleterious effect of this mass tourism, in particular the rise in rents.

It would be +68% in ten years. An effect that is also felt on local businesses, the environment and even the working conditions of employees. Who struggle to find decent housing.

According to Isa Miralles, a 35-year-old musician who lives in the Barceloneta district, quoted by Le Point, “Everyday businesses are closing to make way for a business model that does not correspond to the needs of the neighborhood. People […] can't pay the rent, they have to leave".

12 million tourists welcomed in Barcelona in 2023

CNews notes the words of Jordi Guiu, a 70-year-old Barcelona sociologist who tempers: "We have nothing against tourism, but against ;excess tourism, yes, because it makes the city unlivable".

Behind a banner "reduce tourism now!", demonstrators marched chanting slogans such as "tourists outside our neighborhoods", sometimes stopping in front of certain hotels to the surprise of visitors seated peacefully on the terrace.Barcelona welcomed last year more than 12 million tourists. The municipality has put in place measures to facilitate access to housing for residents.

12.8% of Spanish GDP

The town hall recently announced that it wanted to put an end to the rental of tourist apartments, but only by 2029. From the Balearic Islands to the Canaries via the major tourist cities of& rsquo;Andalusia like Malaga, movements hostile to overtourism have multiplied in recent years in Spain. The second largest tourist destination in the world behind France, Spain welcomed a record 85.1 million foreign visitors last year.

And, unsurprisingly, the most visited region in Spain was Catalonia with 18 million visitors, followed by the Balearic Islands (14.4 million) and the Canary Islands (13.9 million).

However, tourism in Spain has considerable weight. It represents 12.8% of GDP and accounts for 12.6% of jobs.

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