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Barcelona residents don't want any more tourists

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Mar 24th, 2016, 03:09 PM
  #1
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Barcelona residents don't want any more tourists

http://qz.com/453560/tourism-is-doin...residents-say/

...Among their many grievances, residents complain that they are being priced out by the proliferation of rental apartments for tourists, aggravated by the rise of online services like Airbnb. Last year, thanks largely to rising foreign demand, home prices in the city rose 3.5% and rental prices rose 11%, compared to a 5% decline in home prices and 2.6% rise in rental prices in Spain overall, according to a report (link in Spanish) by Spanish classifieds website Idealista.

Overcrowding of treasured local spots, especially in scenic areas like the seaside neighborhood of La Barceloneta, have raised tensions between tourists and locals. Tourists flocking to the working-class neighborhood have been accused of corrupting local culture with excessive noise, vulgarity, and heavy drinking...
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Mar 24th, 2016, 03:43 PM
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We have the same problem in our neighborhood, the East Village of Manhattan. The local Community Board has cut down severely on the number of liquor licenses it is permitting and is invoking a law about distance between bars, that is rarely used.

You want commerce in the area, but most treat the area, the way people treat a rental car. It is not theirs.

We also get a lot of kids who make their first apartment in NYC and there is the same problem as many share a place because they cannot afford one on their own.

There must be balance between commerce and quality of life.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 03:45 PM
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We have been Barcelona many times and it is one of our favorite cities but I understand their concerns.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 03:49 PM
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I can understand how they feel.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 03:53 PM
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Barcelona is the one city in Spain that we enjoyed less than all others because it seemed to us to be drowning under the weight of tourists, and that was about 5 years ago so I am not surprised that locals are fed up.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 04:04 PM
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I was just in Barcelona for 4 days, but since it is March, I didn't feel it was overrun. I imagine it's much different in summer.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 04:09 PM
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Barcelona is taking some measures to limit conversion of apartments to short stay rentals with a moratorium but it's essentially closing the door after the horses have bolted. Once the city has tasted the nectar of the tourist dollars it's hard to give up. I read that about 15% of the economy in the city is tourism.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 04:47 PM
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The new mayor of Barcelona was aiming to tighten up on apartment rentals in over-touristed areas of the city but loosen up in other parts of the city, giving tourists and incentive to spread out, diffuse the impact and boost neighborhoods otherwise not benefiting from tourism.

Like congestion fees for cars in the center of London, cities can impose higher taxes for services in tourist-overrun areas, taxes which will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices for hotels, drinks, food, etc, and many tourists will opt to spend at least part of their budget in cheaper neighborhoods.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 05:14 PM
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Same type of issue going on in PAris.. price of apartment for locals are sky high in central areas.. partly due to investors who buy them and rent them to tourist. I can understand why that would upset locals.

I think the title is a bit off.. I am sure they want tourists.. just not all the illegal vacation rentals.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 05:23 PM
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A local travel agent told us that the huge cruise ships are harming the city by sending thousands into the city all at once.
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Mar 24th, 2016, 07:08 PM
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Cruise ships are a pain, i live in a port city. The tourist money is nice for businesses, but for the rest of us,,5000 or more folks flooding town for a few hours can be annoying, the congestion etc. They freaking jus twalk out in front of your cars,,,grrr, we are not all on vacation some of us are on our way to work!
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Mar 25th, 2016, 12:39 AM
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When I worked in a building located just off Times Square in New York City, the same frustrations for us busy natives dealing with a constant overload of tourists occurred, and these were almost all fellow Americans, speaking English, and they were not arriving on cruise ships. But they were clueless people with maps and cameras, often in partying groups or shepherding children, blocking everybody's way. (The problem in Times Square is not tourists walking into traffic but lining up patiently at the curb, waiting for the red light to change when you are trying to get to work.)

However, le Cinque Terre in Italy is having such a terrible time with cruise-ship excursions all arriving at once to take the same sightseeing route through the villages that park officials are trying to work with the tour companies to develop apps and automated text messages that would re-route the excursion groups when certain areas/trails get too crowded.

Something nobody seems to ever consider is: Might it be possible to make life where people live more interesting, beautiful and satisfying, so that they didn't feel so desperate about needing to sightsee famous places? I think travel is a natural curiosity for a great many people, and most of us wouldn't want to go through life without seeing something of the rest of the world with our eyes, but it is really apparent that a lot of the world's relatively affluent people turn into tourists mainly because suburban life and office life is so boring, culturally and visually, and isolating. And it goes on for miles and miles. In America and some parts of the UK, urban life is downright dangerous. I think a lot of people would stay home and enjoy where they live were it enjoyable, and maybe only occasionally travel for sunshine or a special educational experience. But now you've got millions of people on the road just looking to be happy while in public for a few weeks.
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Mar 25th, 2016, 03:13 AM
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The problem is that mass tourism is focused on a few spots which get choked by the hordes while other, sometimes even more beautiful and interesting regions, are neglected.

For many of us Europeans, Barcelona is not a first-rank destination (it is not particularly beautiful, has few impressive buildings, has no major museum, the Ramblas are tacky, and we consider Gaudi not as a great architect), but for some reason, international tourists are crazy for it.

Sometimes, I wonder why some destinations are over-hyped. Rick Steves? Cruise ship companies? The "10-Top-Destinations"-lists on Fodors?

Anyway, the good news is that the knowing can still enjoy visiting unspoiled gems off the beaten path.
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Mar 25th, 2016, 11:38 PM
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Besides the cruise ships and the thousands of passengers overrunning the city, there is Ryanair, Easyjet, Germanwings, etc., etc.,etc., who bring in those traveling on a budget, some of whom would never consider visiting the city without the cheap fares.

They add little to the economy except by the sheer volume of their presence. They also drive up the price of a hotel room for everyone else and make it difficult to find a table at a reasonably priced restaurant.
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Mar 26th, 2016, 02:37 AM
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and we consider Gaudi not as a great architect),
____
It is nice of you to speak for all Europeans. The irony of reverse snobbery.
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Mar 26th, 2016, 02:55 AM
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>>It is nice of you to speak for all Europeans<<

Look into textbooks of architectural science.
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Mar 26th, 2016, 03:47 AM
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traveller - whatever one thinks of Gaudi [I can take or leave him but I have friends who rave about him] he draws tourists to Barcelona but there are many other attractions too which keep their interest once they are there - the Ramblas, the markets, the Magic Fountain, the beach area, the Baria gothica, the tapas bars, Montjuic, to name but a few. It is that diversity that keeps the numbers up - it may have no great museums, but IMO most "ordinary" tourists aren't bothered about that, they want Gaudi and Picasso.

They add little to the economy except by the sheer volume of their presence. They also drive up the price of a hotel room for everyone else and make it difficult to find a table at a reasonably priced restaurant.>>

is one person's money better than someone else's Robert? of course the easy jet and Ryanair passengers contribute to the economy - where would the hoteliers and restauranteurs of Barcelona be without them? If they had to rely on discerning folk such as you, they'd probably be broke.

Cruise ship passengers are perhaps a more difficult problem - the adherence to the same itineraries and their sheer numbers cannot but affect the city adversely.

But then that may be said to be my biased view as one of those Easyjet passengers.
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Mar 26th, 2016, 04:27 AM
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I am also mainly an Easyjetter but in any case, unless you have a private jet, to get to Barcelona from most places in Europe you have little choice but to fly with a low cost airline. This is true even if you are then going to be staying in a 5-star hotel and eating at Michelin restaurants.

EasyJet, Ryanair, Norwegian, Transavia, Germanwings are some of the choices, and not forgetting Vueling, whose main base is Barcelona. Iberia, the Spanish national carrier does not fly to Barcelona, so all the code-shared flights to/from Barcelona are operated by vueling. Obviously flying from other continents you will almost certainly fly with the "major airlines". Incidentally, at peak holiday times flights too and from Barcelona are anything but "low cost" even with the budget airlines, anything up to 300-400€ one way is possible!

Mass tourism is a problem in certain parts of many cities. Barcelona suffers particularly because it is a very compact, with huge visitor numbers in the Old Town and surroundings. There is also an outcry in Barcelona at the closing of many traditional shops which are then replaced by businesses aimed at tourists (this affects Boqueria market too)

Berlin has similar visitor numbers to Barcelona but is so much bigger there are not so many places that get crowded. However in Berlin there is also a backlash against tourists especially related to the loss of apartments from the local rental market and the city council is taking action to address that.
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Mar 26th, 2016, 06:01 AM
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Cruise ships are a major problem..now including the river boats...as for people traveling out of boredom..not sure about that..most I know are fully engaged and love their homes. The increase in tourists is flights in many cases are cheap...airplanes are now just giant busses in the sky.now you have air bob...verbose etc and the fun loving tourists are right next to people just living their lives.
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Mar 26th, 2016, 06:09 AM
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", but it is really apparent that a lot of the world's relatively affluent people turn into tourists mainly because suburban life and office life is so boring, culturally and visually, and isolating. And it goes on for miles and miles. In America and some parts of the UK, urban life is downright dangerous. I think a lot of people would stay home and enjoy where they live were it enjoyable, and maybe only occasionally travel for sunshine or a special educational experience. But now you've got millions of people on the road just looking to be happy while in public for a few weeks."



I do not know a whole lot of people who are not enjoying their lives because they live in boring, dangerous places. I do not know a single person who travels because living in their home city is dangerous, and I know a whole lot of people who live in cities.

This must be an alternate universe from the one In which the US is criticized for having so few people who travel abroad because they are happiest in their own back yards.

I always say the most successful trips are the ones where I have loved my time away but I am really ready to go home at the end.
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