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Barcelona puts a freeze on delivering permits for new hotels

The recently elected mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau announced a year-long freeze on the attribution of new hotel permits in an effort to control the development of mass tourism.

As she promised during her campaign, Barcelona's new mayor, Ada Colau, is taking measures to regulate tourist arrivals in the city. She has just announced a year-long freeze on the delivery of new hotel permits, including projects underway as well as new ones. The measure is applicable to all types of tourist accommodations and concerns thirty or so development projects.

"It is a temporary decision for one year, the time to develop a strategic project in terms of tourist accommodations," explained Ada Colau during a press conference, recognizing, nonetheless, "that tourism is one of the city's primary assets, and therefore it is our responsibility to take care of it and make it as sustainable as possible."

Mixed reactions from professionals

While some associations, such as that of Barcelona's apartments for tourism (Generalitat), condemn a decision made hastily and without deliberation, others hope to benefit from the opportunity in order to participate actively in the elaboration of the strategic project in terms of tourist accommodations. The Barcelona Hotel Association (GHB) thus suggests doing an analysis of the concentration of tourist accommodations in the différent  areas of the city in order to reevaluate the current situation. The organization also hopes that the implementation of the moratorium will make it possible to take measures to eliminate the problem of illegal tourist accommodations in the Catalan capital.

The GHB is quick to remark that tourism in Barcelona generates 120,000 direct jobs, more than 25,000 of which are people who work in hotels.

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