After decades of promoting itself as a top tourist destination following the success of the 1992 Olympic Games, Spain’s second-biggest city and one of Europe’s most popular tourist hubs is cracking down on visitors.
Two months ago, city council approved a ban on all new hotels, hostels and tourist apartments in the city centre. It expects to go even further with the Strategic Tourism Plan, which will regulate all aspects of tourism, from working conditions in the sector to the way tourists use public space.
The problem, in a nutshell, is that the 30 million people who visit Barcelona each year have become too much of a good thing for its 1.6 million residents. The city’s left-wing government wants to avoid the fate of Venice which many see as theme park by day, ghost town by night. We need to control tourism, otherwise we’d end up having a city with just tourist apartments and deserted neighbourhoods, says Agusti Colom, chief of tourism for the municipal government.
This is an excerpt from an article first published by Tourism Observer. Read the original article here: Spain: Barcelona choking with tourists, residents say tourism should be controlled.