The authorities of the most popular Spanish destination heeded the protests of the locals and began to fight overtourism – a massive flow of travelers. We are talking about Barcelona, which has developed a plan to “thin out” holidaymakers during the peak season.
City tours in Barcelona have become controlled
Spain continues to follow the course of changing its image for tourists and locals: for visitors – quiet, safe and aesthetic resorts, and for locals – the absence of annoying and drunk tourists. The famous city is currently restricting tourist groups to reduce the simultaneous presence of tourists in one place. The number of group members will be determined by the destination chosen by travelers in order to avoid an explosive flow of holidaymakers.
Thus, tourist groups of no more than 30 will be allowed into the vibrant center of Barcelona and popular areas such as the Gothic Quarter and Barceloneta human. And for small areas, tourist groups can only consist of 15 people.
In addition to the restrictions, officials are introducing one-way traffic on 24 city streets. The move, they say, will keep the crowds moving – instead of lingering in certain places.
As part of the new control measures, Barcelona is also imposing noise restrictions, banning all megaphones in the city. Instead, tour guides were ordered to rely only on their vocal cords, and tourists to rely on good hearing, or use audio equipment so as not to disturb the silence with loud sounds. Groups should also use these devices when traveling on city public transport.
“Companies use “quiet” devices so that noise levels do not disturb those who are not on the tour. Travel leaders have worked hard to ensure that group size restrictions are respected without impacting the day-to-day activities of the trip,” Melissa da Silva, president of the travel corporation, explained at a press conference
Vacation in French countryside quotas
Excessive tourism is not limited to big cities. Part of the French countryside is also under pressure from too many travelers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, tourists fearful of big cities have flocked to the more spacious countryside and national parks. In this regard, in some small cities, pedestrian traffic was denser than in Paris.
“Over the past two years, tens of thousands of people have come to the small village hidden between two cliffs, especially from the metro area of Paris. Locals complained that people who came for a day from Paris did not care about the locals, French newspapers quoted Ben Collier, marketing manager for Normandy Tourism for English-speaking markets, as saying.
To help ease the pressure from overtourism in these small towns and parks, officials are imposing daily quotas. For example, Calanques Park only allows 500 visitors a day to one of its most popular areas. For comparison, the park usually receives about 3,000 visitors a day. According to the new rules, tourists must apply to get into the popular place.
The new measures will immediately help reduce crowds during peak summer travel months. At the same time, officials are pursuing another goal with their actions – to encourage travelers to visit these areas and at off-peak times to reduce crowds of tourists and reduce congestion. “What we are trying to do, especially for national markets like Paris and the French, is to get people to come all year round, not just during the summer months or peak periods,” said Collier.
< strong>Overtourism trend
Overtourism is rapidly becoming a problem in many cities around the world as people travel en masse in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to restricting tour groups, Barcelona was the first major European city to ban short-term rentals in order to control tourist numbers.
Now, officials in Venice, Italy, claim that tourist overcrowding is literally drowning the city. To alleviate the problem, Venice will soon introduce a tourist tax for anyone who wants to visit the historic part of the city. The price will depend on the demand for that day.
Earlier, Turprom wrote that “Spain will look into the pockets of tourists at the entrance.”
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