Tourism Is Killing Barcelona: A Local’s View

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Gothic Quarter by Christa Adams

Overtourism: when an influx of tourists overwhelm a destination, making tourism unsustainable

What gives? Shouldn’t the locals be happy? They’re making money and their city is world famous. Simply, they’re unhappy that their city has turned into an adult amusement park full of bachelor and bachelorette parties, loud and disrespectful tourists, and countless Airbnb apartment rentals.

parquetematización: the act of becoming a theme park

Landlords have realized there’s more profit in Airbnb, so when contracts come up for renewal, it’s common to find locals unable to pay up due to the spike in their rental prices. This results in residents having to move further from the city center or relocate outside of Barcelona entirely.

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Photo by Federico Giampieri on Unsplash
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Gothic Quarter Graffiti by Christa Adams

Prou soroll: Stop noise

People aren’t sitting back and taking it, though. There are regular anti-tourism protests, street graffiti stating ‘tourists go home’, banners protesting Airbnb and ‘prou soroll’ posters, translating to ‘stop noise’, plastered throughout major neighborhoods like the Gothic Quarter, Raval, and El Born.

Barcelona no está en venda: Barcelona is not for sale

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Arc de Trimof by Christa Adams

What can you do as a visitor coming to Barcelona?

If you want to visit Barcelona, consider coming outside of May through August. Though I’d argue Barcelona doesn’t quite have an ‘off season’, if you visit outside of the summer months Barcelona will be a slightly calmer place.

Freelance writer, solo traveler & sustainable explorer. http://christaadams.com

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