Well, it looks like the crisis is getting to everyone and everything. So after threatening to do it for a while now, the council announced that it will be charging an entrance fee to Park Güell. The Park is one of the most visited attractions that the city has, holding UNESCO World Heritage status and has been for such a long time one of the best things to do in Barcelona for free.
However, needs must, and starting from October this year, the council will be charging between 7 and 8 Euros for an entrance fee for the thousands of tourists who make the trip up to the park. Locals who live there will be able to use the park and its facilities free of charge, and there's also another type of entrance ticket for some kind of reserved list which I didn't fully understand, but the long and short of it is that it'll be another paid attraction that the city has to offer.
So, despite the move creating around 50 jobs according to the press reports, it does come at quite a cost - it'll take an investment of 2,2 million Euros to implement. I can see why the council has moved to do this - I remember reading a while back some staggering figures about just how much it costs the council to keep the place litter and graffiti free (which is shocking when you think about it - if anyone has a link to that, please share in the comments), but at the same time, a part of me feels sad as it was always a great place to go for free - heck, it's a park for God's sake! Charge to go in the pink house and the museums and that, but...well...
One thing that makes me now wonder is that of the "top manta" ambulant salesmen and women around the park. Will they pay money to get in, banking on making their money back? I can't see it, personally, and if that's the order of things, then I'd like to hope that it would mean an end to the many scams and robberies that happen in and around the park on a daily basis. Although, I guess they'd then have to go some place else, right?!
What do you guys think about the payment idea? Any ideas of how it could have been avoided? Are you a neighbour in the area who is in favour or can see some of the consequences down the line being negative? Let me know in the comments!
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