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