• Barcelona reaches the limit

    “Barcelona is a giant TV and party zone for guiris [north European tourists], and we neighbours matter little. My tourismphobia is unleashed, I admit it.”

    Should Spain consider a degrowth in tourism? This is the view of many people who are angry about drunken holidaymakers taking over cities and their attractions, as this bitter tweet from a Barcelonian shows.

    Spain, once a country where tourism meant money and development, is reaching a tipping point. It’s not that it doesn’t want tourists any more, but some places have reached a limit.

    In certain locations the government is now calling for ‘quality tourism’ instead of ‘drunken tourism’, which activists say is a euphemism for ‘rich people tourism’ and won’t solve the problems that the tourism industry causes to nature, cities and rising house prices.

    The blame lies not with the tourists (according to one report, even the tourists in Barcelona think there are too many of themselves), but with the local administrations: they opt for ever-increasing numbers of tourists, instead of the less popular measures of restricting business.

    What can they do? Control the time visitors can spend at monuments and sights, refuse to grant new licences for rental accommodation and, in extreme cases, limit the number of tourists.

    This article is part of the "Tourism in the age of inflation" edition
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    Barcelona reaches the limit
    A break from war