Tourism boom in Barcelona: strengthening the economy or troubling local residents?

October 7, 2014 03:29 PM | Neringa Sinkeviciute

Barcelona is the 4th most visited city in Europe and the 16th in the world, welcoming 8 million tourists each year. It is acknowledged to be Spain's industrial hub where international trade fairs and conferences are being held. In addition, it is one of the top destinations among Erasmus students and the main cruise ship harbour in Europe. However, thanks to cheap airlines, Barcelona has also developed a reputation for low-cost tourism that often focuses on holidays of beach, booze and partying. On the one hand, this shows the young and fun atmosphere of the city and contributes significantly to the economy. On the other hand, according to locals, the so-called ''drunken tourism'' tarnishes Barcelona's reputation and has negative impacts. The City Council aims to control this kind of tourism and is currently attempting to introduce stricter regulations for holiday rent apartments. It has already banned land-based bar crawls around the city and wants to ensure the legality of alcohol-based boat trips as it does not have control over the city's waters.  

Barcelona City Council starts to shut down illegal holiday rental flats

August 28, 2014 05:57 PM | ACN / Neringa Sinkeviciute

Barcelona has become one of the main European tourist destinations and, probably, the hottest low-cost tourism hub. It attracts millions of foreigners each year, many of whom show up in the city mainly for the beach and partying. The Barceloneta neighbourhood is one of several hotspots affected most severly by the tourism boom. It is near the beach and has become the preferred housing spot for holidaymakers. However, some visitors' unruly attitudes on the street – such as urinating, getting fully naked or singing loudly – have become a problem. Several neighbourhood protests against the so-called "drunken tourism" and illegal holiday apartments have been held in the past two weeks in the Barceloneta area. As a response, the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, declared ''war'' on the illegal tourist accommodation and promised to bring an end to the disturbances caused by wild tourism. As a start, the City Council has begun to shut down tourist flats without license.

9,500 British students party wildly at Salou on Catalonia’s Costa Daurada

March 26, 2013 09:53 PM | CNA / M.C. Griso / R. Segura / A. Ferràs

Thousands of university students from the UK and Ireland come to the Saloufest, a sports tour during the day and a disco and street party at night. “We come to the Saloufest because there are a lot of parties, everything is very cheap and we feel safe” stated one UK student who arrived on Sunday and will party until Thursday in this coastal Catalan town with the first group of 4,000 people. The second and third groups will come after the Easter holidays, on the 2nd and 9th of April. The youngsters bring money in to the hotel, restaurant and bar sectors during a weak period of the year business-wise. However, many neighbours are fed up with the noise and other disturbances, and some locals even leave the town during these days.