This week, a report published by the Plan Estrategico del Turismo has been widely publicised in the press. Sections of the press were given access to huge amounts of documentation relating to the government's "strategic plan of tourism" which starts in 2010 and aims to be set in stone by 2015. Some fascinating statistics have come out of the report - which is obviously relying on last year's data, but nevertheless gives some jaw-dropping details.
Tourists in Barcelona, leave a staggering 20 million Euros per day in the city, creating with that an estimated 80-100,000 jobs with it. 18,4 million tourists visit the city each year, although this figure also includes those on day-trips, excursions and the like - not necessarily those sleeping in the city (that figure drops to almost 11 million).
The report and its findings were due to be presented today in the commission of economical promotion, with a view to cement the ideas and decisions which need making ahead of next year's deadline.
Despite the study's findings being encouraging on the face of things, the report also draws attention to a possible self-destruct button on the city's tourism sector, claiming a "risk of dying from its own success". There is a fair bit of detail about the overcrowding of certain tourist hot spots such as Park Güell, Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas and indeed Cuitat Vella as a whole. Poor behaviour of tourists in these areas, prostitution, the petty crime which the tourists attract and locals having to share their already-confined space with huge amounts of tourists have been high on any list of complaints for a number of years now, and perhaps reached a peak in summer when El Pais published photos of tourists "employing the services" of prostitutes on the side alleys of La Boqueria. A swift and heavy police presence soon rid the papers of any more photos, but the problem was simply swept to other areas, and is not the solution to a greater problem - one which the plan aims to tackle.
So how much is Barcelona worth? Well, despite TripAdvisor labelling Barcelona the pickpocket capital of the world, there are many other plaudits the city can be proud of. This Study labels Barcelona as the 5th best city in the world. This highly respected survey saw Barcelona leapfrog Brussels to be 4th most important Business capital in Europe, and the same report hailed Barcelona as number 1 destination with regards quality of life over all other European cities.
Now, I know we're in a crisis, but 20 million Euros per day is a heck of a lot of money, if you ask me. So what's 365 multiplied by 20 million ?....back in a minute, just going to get a calculator.
What do you think of the findings and situation? I'd love to hear your comments.
Thinking of visiting the 5th best city in the world soon? Check out these great apartments for rent in Barcelona which can offer some great savings over a hotel.