A Popular Travel Destination Is Outlawing Tourist Rentals

All 10K tourist apartments in Barcelona to shut down by 2028, mayor says
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2024 8:42 AM CDT
Barcelona Announces 'Drastic' Move to Deter Tourists
Demonstrators march shouting slogans against the Formula 1 Barcelona Fan Festival in downtown Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, June 19, 2024.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

There are 10,101 legal short-term rental accommodations in Barcelona, Spain, one of the most visited cities in the world. But in just four short years, there will be zero. That's according to Barcelona Mayor Jaume Collboni, who announced the "unexpectedly drastic move" to combat the city's high cost of living on Friday, reports Reuters. After November 2028, "tourist flats as we conceive of them today will disappear from the city of Barcelona," Collboni said, per the Guardian, adding that "we are confronting what we believe is Barcelona's largest problem."

The demand for tourist accommodations has caused rents to climb 68% in the past decade, while the cost of buying a home has jumped 38%, Collboni said, adding that young people are being priced out. "Those 10,000 apartments will be used by the city's residents or will go on the market for rent or sale," he announced at an event. The move follows similar restrictions on short-term rentals in Spain's Canary Islands as well as in other European cities. Amid protests against tourism, Barcelona has blocked all new tourist apartments in recent years while recovering about 3,500 short-term rentals for housing for local residents, per the Guardian.

This goes a step further. "It's about making all the necessary efforts to guarantee access to affordable housing," said Spain's housing minister, Isabel Rodriguez. However, Barcelona's tourist apartments association said the move was "a mistake that will lead to [higher] poverty and unemployment." The group also claimed the ban on tourist apartments would bring a rise in illegal tourist apartment rentals. The city government said it would maintain a "strong" inspection regime to prevent illegal tourist accommodations, per Reuters. (More Barcelona stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.