Tourism does not stop growing in many places around the world, including Barcelona. The city council has set out to carry out a series of measures to reduce its negative impacts and maximize its return to the citizens as a whole.
If you ask someone to tell you ten words that define Barcelona, surely one of the first places is the tourist word. Barcelona has many things, including a tourist city, which is ranked in the most attractive cities in the world for those who like to travel, along with New York, Paris or London. The factors that made it a tourist for many years, and especially since 1992: the great cultural heritage that it contains, gastronomy, sports – Barça is the main claim, but There are many more – the beaches, the climate and a way of being of its inhabitants … But the tourism activity also has negative impacts, especially in environments such as the Parc Güell, the Sagrada Família, the heart of the Neighborhood Gothic, which every day receives thousands of visitors. These visits need not hinder the daily lives of residents. On the other hand, Barcelona needs to be a destination where all visitors, regardless of their age and condition, can enjoy and participate in the experience of the visit.
Xavier Font, professor of sustainable marketing at the University of Surrey (Great Britain), warns that “cities often begin to manage the impact of tourism only when it is too late”, and that “unlike visitors to beach destinations And natural parks, city tourists use the same infrastructure as the locals. ” Xavier Font points out some of the proposals to make Barcelona embrace more sustainable tourism, which does not hinder daily life in the city and that it benefits the citizens: “It is convenient to attract tourists for out-of-city escapes, which mean less burden for To the urban infrastructure. It is also important to attract customers that behave more like locals. Those who visit Barcelona for the first time go to the Sagrada Familia, but those who repeat – among which the French stand out, for example – are already divided into lesser known areas of the city. It is also necessary to reduce seasonality, with special emphasis on activities that can be done in winter or in lesser times, and also to offer products and services produced locally and ethically. “
Tourists give a high score (8.7) to the city and highlight the architecture, culture, entertainment and restoration. As a negative aspect, they show that the prices are too high in relation to the quality and the massification of tourist zones and monuments. This is indicated by the 2016 Tourist Activity Report.
Overnight stays in the hotels of the city of Barcelona rose 5.5% last year, reaching 19.5 million. Significantly increased airport passengers, 11.2% (44.1 million), and cruise ships arriving in the port of Barcelona, 5.6% (2.6 million). On the other hand, 86.7% of Barcelonans consider that tourism is beneficial for the city. According to the 2016 Tourism Activity Report, the percentage of those claiming to set limits on the arrival of tourists (48.9%) for the first time exceed those of supporters who attracted more (47.5%).