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Barcelona Plans To Ban Tourist Vacation Rentals By 2028

Barcelona banning tourist vacation rentals by 2028
Barcelona banning tourist vacation rentals by 2028 [Image by Nikolaus Bader from Pixabay]
Many travelers who have visited Barcelona in the past will recall staying in a cute apartment, either in Barceloneta close to the beach, or in the historic or modernist neighborhoods. Regrettably, by 2028 it will no longer be possible to book a vacation rental as, in an effort to address overtourism, the city plans to ban vacation rentals in Barcelona. However, it isn’t just about overtourism, as the city is taking this drastic action to facilitate more affordable housing for residents.

Barcelona to ban vacation rentals to address housing issues

La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain is always packed with tourists
La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain is always packed with tourists [Image by Nikolaus Bader from Pixabay]
Like many popular tourist cities in Europe, too many visitors are causing huge problems. Not only does overtourism cram the city streets and the beaches, but soaring housing costs have led to pricing locals out of the rental market.

For this reason, by November 2028, Barcelona plans to ban all short-term tourist rentals and make apartment rentals more accessible to locals.

Jaume Collboni, Barcelona’s Mayor has spoken of the plans to scrap licenses for the 10,101 apartments currently approved from being used as vacation rentals, saying:

We are confronting what we believe is Barcelona’s largest problem.  Tourist flats as we conceive of them today will disappear from the city of Barcelona.

Tourism prices residents out of rental apartments

Vacation rental apartments
[Image by Laura Otýpková from Pixabay]
Barcelona is Spain’s most-visited city for international travelers. After 10 years of rising rent and property prices, change needs to be made.

According to Collboni, due to a decade of rising rents and property prices, many locals can no longer afford to rent an apartment in the city. Over the last decade, the cost of renting an apartment has risen by a shocking 68 percent. Moreover, the cost of buying a house has also risen by 38 percent.

Meanwhile, access to housing (or the lack of it) has created widening social divides in the city, particularly for young people. Now, the city hopes that their drastic measures will free up housing for locals.

Naturally, the city has many hotels, which are expected to benefit from the reduced competition. However, opponents of the ban, including Apartur, a tourist apartment association, fear negative consequences. Concerns have been expressed about potential job losses, increased poverty and a surge in illegal vacation rentals.

Balancing economic benefits and locals’ well-being

Barcelona's architecture
[Image by Pablo Valerio from Pixabay]
Meanwhile, the decision by Barcelona’s mayor reflects the growing tension in many popular tourist locations. The city has already tightened regulations on new tourist apartments while tackling illegal rental properties. However, Barcelona is trying to strike a balance between tourism’s economic benefits

Euronews quotes one resident, Patricia Jago, as saying:

Those who make a living within the short-let sector will be seriously concerned right now, but I can see the benefits for young people and families who have no chance of renting a home in their own city.

Regrettably, many young people who love their city are being forced to leave in order to afford housing.



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