Barcelona wants to eliminate all tourist apartments by 2029

Spain’s top destination for foreign visitors has suspended issuing new tourist apartment licenses in recent years.

Barcelona wants to end the rental of tourist apartments by 2029 to facilitate access to housing for residents, the mayor of this northeastern city announced on Friday. Spain which receives millions of tourists annually.

“The Catalan Parliament authorizes us” now “not to renew the licenses for tourist apartments”, which “will allow us to put 10,000 accommodations back on the rental or sale market”, assured during a press conference the mayor of Barcelona , the socialist Jaume Collboni.

According to the municipality, the licenses for the tourist apartments, renewed for five years in November, will expire in November 2028. This means that “from 2029”, if there are no meetings, “the tourist apartments com ‘and we imagine today they will disappear from it city ​​of Barcelona”, launched the council.

To implement this measure, Barcelona wants to use a decree approved last year by the regional parliament of Catalonia, which regulates the number of accommodations with a license for tourist use in cities where real estate pressure is greater.

Rents of 68% over 10 years

“The city cannot allow such a high number of apartments to be used for tourist activities in a context where the difficulty of access to housing and the negative effects of tourist overpopulation are evident,” he justified the city ​​council in a press release.

According to Jaume Collboni, who considers housing to be the “main” problem of Barcelona, ​​rents have increased by 68% in the last ten years in the Catalan capital, where 10,101 houses currently have a license as and tourist apartments.

Barcelona has suspended the issuance of new licenses in recent years under the leadership of former mayor Ada Colau (2015-2023), a former activist for housing rights, to regulate the city’s tourist expansion , the main destination for foreign visitors to Spain. .

But this did not prevent the effects of overtourism to continue to hear about housing, especially since the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. To protest against this situation, several local associations have called for a demonstration in the city on July 6 under the slogan: “Enough! Let’s put limits on tourism!”.

This meeting follows other similar demonstrations already organized in recent months in other major tourist destinations in Spain, such as the Canary Islands and Palma de Mallorca.

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