HomeWorldThe beautiful Spanish city hiking its tourist tax today to battle overtourism

The beautiful Spanish city hiking its tourist tax today to battle overtourism


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Barcelona is a beautiful city that is loved by British tourists and by visitors from all over the world.

With its gloriously sunny weather, vibrant nightlife and attractive Gothic architecture it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.

But as the Spanish city is hit with claims of overtourism – with people jamming the streets – the local rule setters are taking action and raising tourism taxes once again.

Local residents say they’re suffering as property becomes unaffordable due to landlords buying up holiday lets and authorities are struggling to manage the rubbish left behind by tourists.

To try and tackle the issues in 2022 city authorities announced that Barcelona’s tourist tax would be increased over the next two years.

Since 2012, visitors have been forced to pay a regional tourist tax as well as an extra city-wide surcharge.

On April 1, 2023 the city tax was increased to €2.75 (£2.35). And today (April 1, 2024) when the fee will rise to €3.25 (£2.78)

The tax applies to visitors staying in official tourist accommodation and the proceeds will be used to fund the city’s infrastructure.

This includes improvements to roads, bus services and escalators.

Some of the Spanish city’s residents have taken to Reddit to complain about tourists’ annoying behaviour which perhaps demonstrates why tourism taxes are on the rise.

One user ‘demojob422’ said: “Honestly the city is so overrun with tourists that if you come in summer you are annoying most people just by existing and raising their rents. If you want to limit that, go to a hotel or hostel, do not use Airbnb or similar websites.”

Locals argue that holiday rentals push up rents for residents. The user added: “If you don’t want to go from annoying to outrageous, just act with basic human decency.

“Don’t get drunk in the street, respect people and don’t litter.”

Another Reddit user claimed tourists were being messy while another said that they weren’t leaving enough space.

One said: “Walking horizontally in groups, blocking all the sideways” and “littering, there’s a bin at every corner”.

Another said: “Always being in the way, going in groups occupying the whole street in a horizontal line and not leaving some space to go through when someone walking in the opposite direction is walking towards you.”

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