Barcelona is one of the most popular tourist cities in Spain. In fact, out of all the cities visited by tourists throughout the entire world, Barcelona ranks number twenty. It has always been a city which has received a steady amount of tourism, but nothing compared to what it has received over the last 10 years. Tourism has been booming like crazy in Barcelona. In 2012, there were 27 million people who traveled to Barcelona as tourists. Four years later, in 2016, that number increased to 34 million. It took just 4 years for Barcelona to see a 25% increase in their annual tourism. This has caused many locals to become angry and frustrated over the whole situation.
Barcelonans Despise Tourists There are now bigger crowds of pedestrians who are walking on the sidewalks and a lot more traffic and vehicles on the streets. This can all be attributed to the out-of-towners and tourists that are coming to Barcelona at alarming rates. Many of the enraged locals can usually be seen holding up derogatory signs which state things like, “Tourists Go Home” or “Tourists Not Welcome Here.” Seeing these signs is a complete surprise to tourists who can’t understand why the locals wouldn’t want them there. After all, the tourism business is the number one money maker for the local economy in Barcelona. If there were no tourists, then it would mean much worse unemployment than there is right now in the city. Locals would agree that tourism is good for jobs, but they also argue that their government should regulate it better.
Barcelona: The Anti-Tourist CitySome of the reasons that tourism is increasing in Barcelona is because of the amazing travel opportunities that tourists have available to them. For example, flights to Barcelona are very affordable compared to most other international cities. Plus, thanks to the popularity of Airbnb and other home-sharing apps, tourists can find lodging discounts by staying at the homes of local residents instead of paying for expensive hotel rooms. This makes it even more affordable for tourists to travel there. Meanwhile, investors are purchasing lots of apartment buildings and turning them into tourist apartments instead. The local families that live in these apartment buildings end up getting evicted over this, which only further fuels their angry toward tourists. This is a big reason that locals feel like their government should be doing more to prevent these types of apartment buildings from being used exclusively for tourists.