21 Jun, 2024 @ 18:55
1 min read

Barcelona will eliminate ALL tourist apartments in 2028 following local backlash: 10,000-plus licences will expire in huge blow for platforms like Airbnb

All licenses for tourist apartments will be revoked

BARCELONA’S city council has announced it will revoke all licenses for tourist apartments in the urban area by 2028.

In a major win for anti-tourist activists, Barcelona’s socialist mayor Jaume Collboni announced on Friday that licenses for 10,101 tourist apartments in the city will automatically end in November 2028.

The move represents a crushing blow for Airbnb, Booking.com and other operators and a triumph for locals who have protested about over-tourism and rising house prices for years.

Announcing the move, Collboni said the rising cost of property in the city – rental and purchase prices have risen by 70% and 40% respectively in the last decade – had forced him to take drastic action.

He said: “We cannot allow it that most young people who leave home are forced to leave Barcelona. The measures we have taken will not change the situation in one day. These things take time. But with these measures we are reaching a turning point”.

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Tourism has gone too far’ – hundreds of protestors target F1 roadshow in Barcelona city centre ahead of Spanish Grand Prix

The move represents a big win for anti-tourist protestors, who attempted to disrupt an F1 roadshow in the city on Tuesday. Copyright: Ben Pawlowski/Olive Press

The deputy mayor for Urban Planning, Laia Bonet, hailed the move as the ‘equivalent of building 10,000 new flats’ which can be used by locals for residential use.

Local officials say that landlords will not be compensated because the move, which will have to be passed with political support, has de-facto compensation by giving owners a four-year window before licences expire.

Alongside the revoking of tourist flat licenses, Collboni announced that new legislation would force building constructors to allocate at least 30% of new homes to social housing.

The measures are designed to alleviate pressure on a housing market which has seen sharp price rises in recent years, forcing many residents to leave the urban area for the suburbs and beyond.

Speaking to the Olive Press at an anti-tourist rally on Tuesday, one Barcelona resident, who gave his name as Alex, said locals were angry at the ‘massification of tourism’ with ‘the cost of living and housing forcing many young people to emigrate from the city centre to the suburbs and nearby towns’.

He added: “The people of Barcelona, like any city in the UK and elsewhere, have the right to live peacefully in their own city. What we need is a better quality of life, decent wages and, above all, an affordable city to live in”.

Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to ben@theolivepress.es

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