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People in Barcelona can't stand huge number of tourists anymore

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Staff Writer | January 29, 2017
Barelona city council approved a law that bans new hotels or visitor apartments anywhere in the city centre.
Barelona protest
Tourism in Spain   More than 17 million overnight visitors
If any hotel or apartment closes, its capacity cannot be replaced. Barcelona ranks fifth in Europe for overnight visitors, behind London, Paris, Berlin and Rome.

Barcelona receives more than 17 million overnight visitors a year and local residents complain that the downsides of the tourism boom have risen sharply. Half of all tourist accommodation is concentrated in just 17 per cent of the city area.

With signs “Barcelona is not for sale,” people took the streets of Barcelona and the Rambla boulevard. The protest was organised by more than 40 groups from all over the city, not just the neighbourhoods most directly affected by mass tourism.

There are currently 75,000 hotel beds in the city and around 100,000 beds in tourist flats, at least half of them unlicensed and illegal.