• Menu
  • Menu

Madrid Planning ‘Black Level’ Alert Due To Christmas Overcrowding

Madrid issuing 'black level' alert for over-crowding in the Christmas holidays
Madrid issuing ‘black level’ alert for over-crowding in the Christmas holidays [Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay]
Since the pandemic, the word “over-tourism” regularly comes up in travel headlines and this includes Madrid in Spain.  In fact, Spain’s capital is already planning a “black level” alert for the holidays in an effort to prevent overcrowding in the streets at Christmas. If you are planning a city break or vacation in Madrid, read on to be aware of the measures being taken by city management.

Madrid planning ‘black level’ alert over the holidays

After a year of increased tourism in Spain, Madrid is ready to shut streets down over the Christmas holiday to prevent overcrowding. Spain’s capital has already activated the “black level’ alert due to the huge influx of visitors to the city over the holidays.

Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain [Image by Julius Silver from Pixabay]
However, the measure will only be implemented in situations where there is exceptional saturation in public spaces and transport. Through the city’s efforts, they hope to manage security and mobility in the busy city.

How will the ‘black level’ alert work?

Under the alert, police will monitor the most congested Madrid streets from above using drones. Once the crowds of people reach a maximum, the streets will be closed down, allowing people to leave, but not enter the area. Moreover, both public and private transport are likely to be impacted by the special alert.

Christmas in Spain's capital
Christmas in Spain’s capital [Image by Francisco Leão from Pixabay]
When it comes to which parts of Madrid could be affected by shutdowns, the Madrid city authorities say it will impact the whole city. However, critical points are Preciados and El Carmen streets, the section of Calle Alcalá near the Plaza de Cibeles, the Plaza del Celenque and the Gran Via.

Increase in tourism in Madrid and Spain as a whole

While the alert relates to the Christmas holidays, tourism in Spain is increasing year-round. The first 10 months of 2022 saw 74.7 million tourists visiting Spain, an 18.2 percent increase from the same period in 2021.

Even in October, which is not a typical “tourist month,” 8.17 million international visitors entered Spain, an increase of 13.9 percent compared to October last year. Moreover, 3.3 million international visitors entered the country in November, an increase of 9.3 percent over November 2022.

Madrid's streets will be crowded over the holidays
Madrid’s streets will be overcrowded [Image by NakNakNak from Pixabay]
Speaking of the increase in tourists, Jori Hereu, the Minister of Industry and Tourism in Spain, said in a statement:

We are transforming the historical nature of our tourism. Spain continues to be a leader, the recovery of the sector is absolute and full, but we are diversifying and de-seasonalizing the flows, which results in a more sustainable tourism that’s less dependent on the high summer season.

Tourism and employment in Spain

With the increase in international tourists, more tourism-related jobs become available and this year has been especially good. Euronews reports that between April and June 2023, 150,000 more employees were registered in tourism-related jobs than in the same period of last year. Moreover, 25 percent of all new jobs in Spain this year come from tourism-related activities.

Héctor Gómez, Spain’s acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, spoke of the increase in employment, saying:

The tourism sector is one of the main economic engines of our country. Spain continues to create jobs linked to tourism activities and does so in an increasingly robust way and always under the motto of quality, stability and excellence.

If you are planning a vacation in Madrid over the Christmas holidays, be aware of the ‘black level’ alert that could come into action in popular areas of the city.



Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *