Around 1000 people demonstrated some days ago in Barcelona, against Mass Tourism and Housing speculation. Don’t read it badly: it is not that people in Barcelona are against tourists. In fact, I would say that locals are very helpful towards tourists and proud to have them visiting the city. As long as they respect day-to-day life in Barcelona, which they usually do. The problem is, first of all, that the huge and almost crazy increase of visitors in the last years is resulting in a crazy inflation of housing prices, which is forcing many residents to leave the city. And the problem seems to be increasing due to the arrival of investors that are buying buildings at prices that locals cannot pay. On the other hand, the presence of tourists in many areas of the city is creating the feeling to many citizens of Barcelona of being part of an amusement park. On the contrary, if one element defines Barcelona is the fact of being a city of villages, a city of cities, each of them with strong and differenciated life: Gràcia, Sants, Sarrià, Eixample, Sant Antoni or Sant Andreu, to mention some of them. It is an obligation of local authorities to defend this heritage, which also makes the city attractive to visitors.
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