Barcelona has announced plans to stop allowing tourists to rent apartments by 2028. The city's mayor, Jaume Collboni, revealed the decision last Friday. 

This bold move aims to tackle the city's sharp rise in housing costs and improve living conditions for its residents.

Barcelona Takes Bold Step to Reclaim Housing for Locals, Bans Tourist Stays

(Photo : Kaspars Upmanis on Unsplash)

Barcelona Curbs Tourism to Protect Locals

The beautiful city of Barcelona is Spain's most popular destination for foreign tourists. But this popularity has pushed up housing prices. 

In the last decade, rent has jumped by 68% and the cost to buy a home has increased by 38%. The mayor pointed out that these rising costs are making it tough for many, especially young people, to afford living in the city.

Barcelona's government believes that the surge in short-term tourist rentals is a big part of the problem. Many apartment owners prefer renting their properties to tourists because they can charge more money. 

This has left fewer homes available for locals and pushed prices up.

In response, CNN reported that the city will end the licenses of over 10,000 apartments currently used for short-term rentals by November 2028. No new licenses for tourist apartments have been given out recently. 

The city has also been strict about finding and closing illegal tourist apartments. Since 2016, they have shut down around 9,700 illegal rentals.

The decision is part of a wider effort seen across Europe where cities like Lisbon and Berlin have set similar rules. These cities are trying to control the impact of tourism on local housing markets.

Hotels might see more guests because of this change. The previous government stopped new hotels from opening in popular areas of Barcelona. But Mayor Collboni is thinking about relaxing this rule. 

Meanwhile, the city plans to keep a strong check on illegal rentals even after the ban starts.

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Reviving Local Communities

Barcelona plans to ban short-term rental properties by 2028, a move driven by the need to tackle the city's housing crisis. 

Mayor Jaume Collboni announced that the city will no longer allow over 10,000 apartments to be rented out to tourists. These apartments will either be used by residents or put up for sale or long-term leasing.

The decision is expected to bring more locals, including artists and entrepreneurs, back to the city center. 

As a result, the neighborhoods around central Barcelona are likely to regain their original charm and vibrancy. The presence of local residents is hoped to enhance the authenticity that once made Barcelona special.

According to Wanderlust, the ban could also improve the experience for visitors. With fewer tourists, popular sites like the Basílica de la Sagrada Família might become less crowded. 

The change is set to benefit small, independent hotels in Barcelona, which are anticipated to see an increase in bookings. These hotels have been the backbone of the city's accommodation sector since the government restricted the opening of new hotels in 2015.

Collboni emphasized the importance of this policy as a "turning point" for the city. He believes that while the effects might take time, the measure marks a significant step towards resolving the housing issues caused by tourism.

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