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PODCAST: BCN and tourism – a love–hate relationship

Episode 6 of Filling the Sink asks if the current tourism model is broken and what can be done to fix it

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05 December 2020 02:50 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Barcelona has a love–hate relationship with tourism, vital for many jobs and businesses but a bane for many residents. Episode 6 of Filling the Sink asks if the current tourism model is broken and what can be done to fix it. Press play below to listen, or subscribe on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts or Spotify.


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Catalonia is one of Europe's tourism hotspots, welcoming some 20 million foreign visitors a year. But despite the huge boost tourism gives to the economy, there are growing questions over how tourists and residents can happily co-exist, not least in the capital Barcelona. And after years of concern about overtourism, the problem has flipped in 2020, with the industry hit hard by a lack of tourists due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lorcan Doherty is joined by Alan Ruiz Terol and Cillian Shields to discuss the issues, and we hear from two official tourist guides working in the city. Marta Roigé, who set up Pasapas with three friends to provide tours for people who live in Barcelona, takes us on a tour of the Ciutat Vella, or Old Town. Resi Nickl of tour guide association AGUICAT explains the steps she believes need to be taken to ensure a sustainable tourism industry.

Listen to more episodes of Filling the Sink below.


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  • Barcelona's La Rambla full of people on a summer's day in 2018 (by Pau Cortina)

  • Barcelona's La Rambla full of people on a summer's day in 2018 (by Pau Cortina)

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