Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Barcelona’s Mayor to Tourists: Go Away
Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Barcelona boasts dazzling architecture, fabulous food, abundant sunshine, and a stylish, laid-back vibe. No wonder a record 7.6 million people are expected to visit Barcelona this year. It’s now the third most visited city in Europe, behind London and Paris, and ranks No. 12 worldwide, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released on June 3.

Barcelona Mayor-elect Ada Colau Ballano doesn’t think this is good news. Colau, who leads a coalition of environmentalists and social activists that won municipal elections in May, says the tourism surge is making the city uninhabitable for its 1.7 million residents.

Local authorities have tried to control the swarms. They require time-restricted entry tickets for such top attractions as Gaudi’s Parc Güell and the Sagrada Familia cathedral and forbid tour groups from entering La Boqueria during peak shopping times. But Colau wants to go even further. She told the newspaper El Pais on June 1 that she will place a moratorium on approving new hotel rooms and short-term rentals and will develop a plan to ensure that Barcelona doesn’t « end up like Venice. »

Barcelona’s situation isn’t yet that extreme. For one thing, it’s much bigger than Venice. Public-opinion surveys show that residents are overwhelmingly pro-tourism, except for those living in a few heavily trafficked neighborhoods, says Greg Richards, a professor at the NHTV Breda University in the Netherlands who has studied Barcelona tourism. « There is no sign of a tipping point » at which the costs of tourism could outweigh its benefits, he says. Visitors spend $13.9 billion annually in Barcelona, and the tourist industry supports an estimated 100,000 jobs.

Barcelone c’est le coin de l’Espagne rempli de nationaleux et de séparatistes. De plus, la nouvelle mairesse de Barcelone est une radicale de gauche…

Bref, Barcelone c’est pas mal comme le Québec (le soleil et l’architecture en moins…).

Au Québec ou en Catalogne, le nationalisme crée de petits territoires, peuplés par de petites nations qui brassent de petites économies. Le nationalisme, c’est le credo des gens nés pour un p’tit pain et l’évangile des gens fermés sur le monde…