26 Feb, 2024 @ 08:53
1 min read

‘This is absurd!’ Outrage in Sevilla over plans to close off a major tourist attraction and begin charging an entrance fee

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STUNNING: Plaza de Espana is often the highest ranked tourist attraction in Spain (CREDIT: Laurence Dollimore)

PLANS to close off a major attraction in Sevilla and charge tourists a fee to enter have sparked a huge backlash among locals.

The conservative (PP) mayor of the Andalucian capital Jose Luis Sanz said on Sunday that the new levy for visitors would “finance its conservation” and “maintain a 24-hour surveillance service.”

The attraction in question is the historic Plaza de España, a huge semi-circle structure that is surrounded by a moat and four small bridges. The structure is dotted with mosaics that pay homage to the different autonomous communities of Spain.

The new tourist charges would also go towards the “permanent restoration” of the site, Sanz added.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Why are anti-tourism campaigns growing in Spain?

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STUNNING: Plaza de Espana is often the highest ranked tourist attraction in Spain (CREDIT: Laurence Dollimore)

Sanz said in a statement: “We are planning to close the Plaza de España and charge tourists to finance its conservation and guarantee its safety.”

“Of course, the monument will continue to be freely accessible and free for all Sevillians.”

However the plan has sparked a huge backlash from Spaniards online.

One journalist wrote on X: “What the mayor of Seville proposes to close the Plaza de España is an aberration, it is illegal…

“This is the policy of… cronies to earn dollars at the expense of all Spaniards.”

Another said: “The Seville City Council, of the PP, wants to close the Plaza de España in Sevilla.

“Not content with privatising healthcare, education… they now want to privatise the assets of the people of Sevilla. If we don’t wake up, they’re going to privatise Sevilla.”

The people who will be exempt from the tourist fee will be those born in Sevilla city or the province.

The city council predicts that the levy will “generate great income”, which would be split between the Spanish government and Sevilla city council 25% and 75% respectively.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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