It finally happened!

You might remember that we have written quite a few times about the crowds. Finally it has happened. Barcelona has moved to restrict tourism numbers as the strain on the city finally comes to a breaking point. Though we fail to see how the proposed ban on building new hotels would help. And we doubt that they can effectively check and police the AirBnB rental market with 110 inspectors. And it seems if this article is true, more cities are finally jumping in.

One thing’s for sure, if you want to be one of the 32 million visitors to the city of 1.6 million, you will have to pay a higher surcharge if you only do a day trip. How they levy that we don’t know (someone tell us?) especially if you come on your own. Do they ask you as you get off the train, bus or ship? Ok off the cruise ship for sure.

The most interesting thing though is the tax rate on vacation property. Many years back when we live in Holland, we had quite some Dutch friends who bought apartments in Spain for vacation use or as a second home. How will they be affected? Oh dear. This is the pitfall of investing in real estate in a jurisdiction outside your own country. Never know when the laws change… and btw the barbers realtors will never tell you it’s ever a bad time to speculate invest.

When your city gets visited by the equivalent of 20x the local population, infrastructure will surely begin to creak and moan as we mentioned here. Can you as a local imagine having to crowd with the tourists on the trains, shops etc. It is a fantastic compliment to have many folks from around the world clamour to visit your home city. But it is a whole different proposition to have them clog up your streets! Locals in the city support this move. Businesses object (of course?).

How soon before a BTA (Barcelona travel approval)  or TVA (Trevi visit approval) is required?

Author: Mel & Suan

Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!

27 thoughts on “It finally happened!”

  1. Are these crowded places crowded the whole year round or only in summer? The thing is some touristy places, not Barcelona necessarily as I don’t know, rely on revenue from tourism. If we take the European countries with suffering economies, like Greece and Portugal (no?), tourists are not the enemy. I know Spain isn’t on the same level as Greece. Perhaps the solution is make it significantly more expensive during the peak season and attractive during low seasons to encourage the distribution of numbers.

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    1. We think it already is more expensive during peak seasons. But it seems these days some popular cities do not have a season anymore! Its busy all year round. Even when we were in Barcelona during winter more than 15 years ago it was crowded. So we think the issue is how the volume of people can be moderated across the locations. Other parts of Spain (and Europe) ought to be promoted to divert some traffic and even things out? May or may not work for some, as you say who depend on tourism revenue.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah. We’ve touched on this issue a couple of times from different angles. But the underlying point remains the same – that there are many – if not too many tourists concentrated in specific places. The good folks at the tourist bureaus ought to look into how to load balance this “demand” we think.

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  2. Tough choice given the positive impact of tourist dollars on local economies. But not surprising if the costs related to tourism outweigh the positive benefits. I remember being in the Barcelona Market and some of the shop owners being quite touchy if you were only taking photos and not buying anything. –Curt

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  3. The crowds of tourists can be off putting for locals and tourists alike. I’ve only been to a few European destinations, and I found the crowds a bit difficult. Most of the time now we prefer our own quiet Australian countryside. And it feels safe.

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