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Barcelona tourism industry ‘needs to find balance’

Barcelona tourism industry ‘needs to find balance’
16 Jun 2014

Barcelona has become one of the most popular European cities for short breaks in recent years, with visitor numbers here spiking from 1.7 million in 1990 to over 7.4 million in 2012.

While residents and officials alike welcome tourists as a vital part of the local economy, there are concerns that the city could suffer and lose much of its charm if there are too many visitors.

Barcelona resident Eduardo Chibas recently made a documentary about the issue. Speaking to the Guardian, he said it is difficult when local shops are being forced out to make way for businesses catering for tourists.

‘What happens when everything around you turns into commerce for tourists? Basically it stops being a place where you can live,’ he stated.

Mr Chibas, and other residents, believe Barcelona needs to strike the right balance between catering for travellers and providing for locals.

Data collected by Turisme de Barcelona and Barcelona Provincial Council revealed that, in 2013, 52.7% of travellers were on their first visit to the city, while 28.3% were in the city for at least their third time.

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