Taxi strike ‘negative impact’ on Barcelona’s image as tourist destination
Travel agency association criticizes industrial action day after sector apologizes for "collateral damage"
The taxi strike in Barcelona that saw two major roads occupied by drivers for eight days has had “a totally negative impact” on the city’s image as a tourist destination. This, according to the president of the Association of Specialized Travel Agencies (ACAVe) Martí Sarrate.
Sarrate said that it is “incomprehensible” for a “necessary” public service to “block the centre of the city” and impede tourists’ mobility. He went on to criticize politicians that “consented” allowing the sector to take up a “strong position.”
According to the ACAVe president, the taxi sector has to adapt to “the needs of new technologies,” and questioned the legality of the industrial action that could be resumed in September if the Spanish government doesn’t deliver on its promises.
On Thursday, the sector apologized for any “collateral damage” caused by the strike and the mobilization of drivers that all but shut down two major roads in the heart of the capital.
“We apologize to city merchants and small businessmen who have been affected,” as well as to the public. This is what sector spokesman Tito Álvarez said at a press conference. “We consider ourselves part of this city,” he went on to say, highlighting that the industrial action was because they had no “choice” left.