Tourism in Barcelona: Pros and Cons

Published on by Catalina Ciolan (infographic designer), Hugo Orenga (video operator), Martí Roma (video editor), Roger Cuartielles (writer)

To every good thing, unfortunately you most often have a negative consequence as well. The city of Gaudi, Barcelona is the eleventh most visited city in the world (according to the Global Destination Cities Index 2014 of MasterCard) and even if it might all sound perfect there are downsides to that situation as well.

The tourism figures in the Catalan city have deeply increased since 1990, with the then upcoming celebration of the Olympic Games that took place in 1992. If the number of tourists in 1990 was 1, 7 million, in 2000 it doubled and in 2006 it tripled reaching 6, 3 million. Last year more than 8, 3 million tourists visited the city.

The consequences of the growth

Even if the tourism provides jobs for the a large number of people, the increasing number of tourists makes the local’s life quite complicated, especially in places like Las Ramblas or Plaça Catalunya. In the past, these emblematic streets were full of local citizens walking around and buying their products from traditional shops. Now these stores have been replaced by international brand shops and the streets have been invaded by thousands of tourists.

Barcelona: the European capital of the cruises

The Barcelona’s Port is the European leader in cruises. The port infrastructure is prepared to receive seven cruise ships. In fact, on May 2015 the port is becoming in the base of the biggest cruise in the world called “Allure of the Seas”. His arrival provides 27 million Euros to the city and places Barcelona at the top of maritime tourism. However, it is estimated that hold “Allure of the Seas” brings a lot of pollution.

The preservation of Catalan culture

It is known that one of the tourist attractions in Barcelona is all the cultural goods that it has. The monuments of Gaudí are the most visitated and its succes between tourists has made that a lot of them have been restored. But in general Barcelona is characterised by receiving young tourism in spite of old. The good weather, the beach and a affordable prices promote drunkenness tourism and this fact origins many conflicts with neighbours.


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