Citizens of Barcelona: Tourism is a major city problem

  • Written by  Linda D.
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Barcelona has placed a moratorium on new hotels in the city center and has come up with a roadmap for reducing tourism in saturated areas, while the Balearic Islands has introduced a law cutting the number of beds available to tourists to 623,624 with a view to gradually settling on a maximum of half a million at any given time, said El Paise.

The measures taken by the Balearic government could become a model for other regions in Spain struggling to cope with increasing numbers of tourists. Are the more than 80 million foreign visitors estimated for 2017 really too many for the country to cope with?


Residents in some parts of Barcelona and the Balearic Islands, including the loser Ibiza, are negatively affected by visitors whose mass arrivals raised real estate prices affecting the local population.

The measure adopted by the regional government of Balearic, which plans to reduce the number of beds to over 620,000 and gradually lower them to a maximum of half a million, could therefore be a model for other regions in Spain.



The cap on beds in the Balearic Islands is nothing new. A similar measure was introduced in 1999 but was undermined by the arrival of online platforms advertising properties that managed to bypass the system.

Now, a year-long embargo has been imposed on Airbnb, HomeAway and other digital platforms: property owners who ignore the ban face hefty fines of around €400,000.

“We can’t take more tourists during the summer season,” says Gabriel Barceló, vice president of Barceló, one of Spain’s leading hotel groups, and who is also a tourism advisor to the Balearic government. “The limits have been exceeded. The balance has to be redressed.”


In Barcelona and Palmi there is an anti-mood swing. According to a survey conducted in June, the citizens of Barcelona first mentioned tourism as a major city problem.




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