Last week I came across a strange BBC News clip that left me thinking a lot. Whilst celebrating the triumph of Barcelona as a tourist destination, marvelling at the architecture and art in both Gaudi and Picasso and revealing startling statistics such as the fact that 80,000 tourists arrive in the Catalan Capital per day, the main mini-documentary wasn't congratulating a city whose mother country is firmly established as one of the PIIGS - oh, no, it's that Barcelona as a tourist destination is becoming crowded. In fact, the tourists are "spoiling" Barcelona.
If you've got 9 minutes to spare, go and watch the video on that link above. you might see where I'm coming from (Auntie doesn't let you embed their videos). Go on, I'll wait.
One in ten residents works in tourism-related job and in 2011 Barcelona hosted more conferences than any other city in Europe (and has been granted the World mobile Congress again until 2018). However, it's the locals who complain about the abundance of ice cream stalls after the council closed down the bird sellers and allowed them to open up the ice cream stalls right on las ramblas.
I tire of reading polls in the paper of the citizen's main concerns over safety in the city (after unemployment, usually) or stories of robberies and pickpockets but whilst the law remains the same, the problem will not go away. Surely the politicians should be addressing this kind of problem before building new marinas for luxury yachts.
The video has so many talking points, from losing identity -despite having the most ethnic and diverse neighbourhood in the whole of Catalonia to the simple opinion of "if you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen...but it's my kitchen" kind of attitude.
What do you think? I'm not completely opposed to everything the video has to offer, and I think this is a platform for discussion, so would love to hear your comments.
Thinking of joining the crowds this summer? why not rent your own Barcelona apartment instead of opting for a hotel room ?