The UK’s Guardian newspaper is reporting the election of a new mayor in the tourist hotspot of Barcelona. I have not been there for a number of years, but most people I know have experienced some form of theft or pickpocketing during their visits – even savvy New Yorkers. Organised gangs from eastern european countries target visitors in key visitor locations.
So it comes as a bit of a surprise that tourist who, the article reports, support 100,000 jobs are causing a problem. It appears that the conversion of properties to hotels, illegal tourist lettings, and rising rents are causing a problem for the locals. The mayor fears that locals are being forced out by visitors.
The number of visitors has increase from 1.7m in 1990 to 7.5m in 2013. The idea, it seems, is to stop issuing licenses for properties to be converted to hotels and letting properties and to reduce the number of cruise ships calling at the city.
The tourist tax imposed on the city is going to be used to support local residents rather than to promote the city.
So it seems if you do want to visit, now might be a good time, before all the changes kick in.
You can read the whole article about the new major here.