Tourism is one of Barcelona's most important activities and one of the City Council's priorities, given its contribution to the city's economy and the various effects it has on urban life.

It has taken just a few years for Barcelona to become a tourist city. An estimated total of 28 million visitors annually to a city of little more than 1.6 million residents gives you a good idea of the city’s large capacity to attract, while it also shows the scale of the impact of tourism, which represents around 12% of its GDP and creates roughly 9% of the city’s jobs.

The activity's sustained growth has also stirred a public debate around its sustainability. The City Council has responded to this by launching the City and Tourism Council, a consultative and participatory body, and by drawing a new Strategic Tourism Plan (for 2020 to define the roadmap for tourist management over the coming years.

Goals:

  • To govern tourism, setting the rules of the game in order to achieve a balance in the city.
  • To ensure the destination’s inalienable sustainability and to do so by adopting a broad approach, incorporating other fundamental criteria into environmental issues such as job quality and the strength of business relations with the local economic community.
  • To promote a better social return on the economic activity generated, by activating multiplier effects so it can be extended to the entire city.

Actions:

  • Barcelona Strategic Tourism Plan for 2020
  • Creation of the City and Tourism Council
  • Special Urban Development Plan for Tourist Accommodation (PEUAT).
  • Shock Plan for Combating Illegal Tourist-Use Housing (HUT).
  • Tourist city conference for finding shared responses. 
  • Tourist mobility strategy.
  • Agreement on good practices for tour guides in public spaces. 
  • Creation of the Tourism Observatory in Barcelona: City and Region.
  • Planning Measures for Crowded Spaces (EGA).
  • Agreements with holiday rental platforms.
  • Government measure: Programme to maintain harmony between local residents and flats and other accommodation used by tourists.
  • Tax on Stays in Tourist Establishments: increased contribution to the municipality (50% of the money collected), plus other money collected (cruises and tourist-use flats), to extend the areas of application to measures for mitigating the impact of tourism on the city.
  • Amendment to the Byelaw on Pedestrian and Vehicle Traffic (approved on 26 May 2017) which determines other traffic situations where vehicles are used for an economic activity.
  • District tourism management strategies.
  • Destination tourism marketing strategy.
 #fairtourismBCN campaign