Former Barcelona mayor says tourism increase should be 'managed'

Spain's industry and tourism minister Jordi Hereu believes city has 'tools to limit' situation

Spain's industry Jordi Hereu and Barcelona mayor Jaume Collboni
Spain's industry Jordi Hereu and Barcelona mayor Jaume Collboni / Maria Pratdesaba
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

June 10, 2024 01:02 PM

June 10, 2024 07:47 PM

Spain's industry and tourism minister and former Barcelona mayor Jordi Hereu said that the city's "tourism increase should be managed" on Monday.

"Tourism is an uptrend event that we need to get ready for," he said during the annual Barcelona Tourism Office Consortium.

To tackle the increase, Hereu has proposed using the city's "tools to limit" the situation whenever needed to "build a proposal for visitors."


Hereu defended tourism as an "absolutely positive social, economic and cultural phenomenon" and called for it to be turned into "something local" to build "better cities and countries." 

"Last year, more than 1.3 billion people traveled. The world is going to have more and more tourism and we have to be prepared," he added.

The current mayor, Jaume Collboni, said that during this term, the city council will implement "all the necessary measures" to avoid the consequences of mass tourism.

"We have to promote what attracts the best tourists, those who respect the destination and appreciate our way of life," he said. 

Collboni said that Barcelona must "refocus the tourism strategy in favor of quality, not quantity" to stop the "risks" of mass tourism.

More than 12 million people visited Barcelona last year, which represents a 6.9% decrease compared to four years ago. 

80% of the tourists who stayed in the city were from abroad, consolidating Barcelona as the leader in the number of overnight stays by international visitors in Spain.