High on many people’s lists of places to visit, Barcelona has seen a boom in tourist numbers over the past few years which, residents say is putting a huge strain on the cities resources, sheer numbers on the streets and means the locals are being priced out of the city.
In 2015 Ana Colau was voted into the Mayors office on a promise to reverse the effects of the tourist boom. She warned Barcelona risked becoming ‘like Venice’ and since taking office has introduced a string of laws and measures to bring tourism under control. These include a cap on visitors to the La Boqueria markets at peak times and a new law to limit the number of new hotels being built within the city and has stopped issuing new licences to accommodation providers.
Up to 2,000 protesters marched down La Ramblas last Saturday in a protest to mass tourism and its effects on the resident population and Barcelona is not alone, recently the Balearic and Canary Islands have also seen friction over mass tourism.