Putting limits on tourism | News from Catalonia | EUROtoday

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In the image, tourists take photos in front of Casa Batlló.
In the picture, vacationers take images in entrance of Casa Batlló.Albert Garcia

Apart from the pandemic, Barcelona has seen a rise within the variety of guests yr after yr and is on observe for a brand new all-time file in 2024. Where would quantitative progress take us? to infinity? If we had been to desert town to the dynamics of the market, in a number of years the entire of Ciutat Vella, the Eixample, Gràcia, Sant Antoni, Poble Sec, Sants, Poble Nou… would grow to be an immense park of workplaces and vacationer residences. And if by then Barcelona had not already died, suffocated by its personal international success, the wave of gentrification would unfold all through the remainder of town and the metropolitan space. Similarly, with out laws that drastically restrict their enlargement, the terraces would find yourself colonizing the sidewalks and squares, and commerce can be lowered to a succession of franchises, hashish shops, souvenirs, cell phone equipment and nail salons. The market solely regulates what it’s fascinated with. And what it’s fascinated with is personal revenue: a free cross for the extractive and speculative economic system.

The important argument of the supporters of the establishment The truth is that placing limits on mass tourism would severely penalise town's economic system. They remind us that tourism represents 15% of the GDP and so they speak concerning the 1000’s of jobs that might be misplaced, the extra earnings that many households would lose with the ban on vacationer leases and so they predict a basic impoverishment of town. By this rule of three, no regulation can be justified. In actuality, what those that use these arguments are asking is that we sacrifice the well-being of all, entry to housing, our identification and our dwelling house to the insatiable need for revenue of some, largely buyers from exterior town who take their earnings elsewhere. Regulating, on this case, doesn’t hurt the bulk, however the minority.

Monoculture tourism has many pernicious results: gentrification, which drives younger individuals out of town; a basic enhance within the value of housing, which has turned renting into an element of social vulnerability and everlasting misery; an financial mannequin based mostly on precarious jobs, with very low wages, very lengthy hours and little chance {of professional} development; the specialization of town in low-quality jobs, which attracts low-skilled immigration and will increase the proportion of susceptible inhabitants; the eradication of conventional commerce because of the enhance within the value of premises and a consumption mannequin aimed on the floating inhabitants, based mostly on a standardized and restricted supply. And a basic social desertification: the place vacationers substitute the native inhabitants, there aren’t any youngsters, no associative community, no neighborhood and household ties that generate solidarity and function a buffer towards the various crises that loom over us.

The state of opinion is altering in a short time. There are fewer and fewer individuals prepared to sacrifice all the things on the altar of tourism. Protest actions towards overcrowding have emerged within the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Malaga and Cadiz. They are additionally rising in Barcelona. Some cities have begun to react. Venice, Amsterdam, New York, Palma de Mallorca, Dubrovnik and Barcelona itself have introduced measures. They are of a really completely different nature – principally taxes, capability limitations and discount of provide – and up to now none of them has confirmed to be ample to cease the predatory dynamic. Surely all of them will find yourself being obligatory. The debate has begun. Better not delay.

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