Barcelona - the end of the tourism dream?


Barcelona town hall.

Is the party over for Barcelona? The successful campaign to position the Catalan city as a mecca for art lovers and tourists has started to create a crisis for residents and politicians alike.

At our most recent forum with the Mayor of London's Chief Digital Officer, Theo Blackwell, we discussed how residents were starting to use data to monitor noise levels in the residential areas of the Spanish city. Noise is just one problem of the tourism invasion that is a result of a very popular and successful campaign by Barcelona to attract visitors in their millions.

The Daily Telegraph this month reported that 15 million visitors arrived in the city last year but the problems lie in the 'lack of controls' surrounding tourism such as the rise in sites like Airbnb which are stated to be 'strangling the rental market, the violence and public disorder surrounding the drug trade and the growth of illegal street selling'.