Spain tourist rage: Crackdown on guided tours and new ban to stop nuisance

Travel chaos: Simon Calder says to only take hand luggage

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in the world. However, some residents are fed up with the number of tourists in the Spanish city.

In a bid to clampdown on nuisance to residents, Barcelona is to introduce new controls on guided tours.

No more than 30 people will be allowed to be part of a group in the main part of the city.

Guides will have to talk quietly or use audio equipment and must plan routes that “minimise inconvenience”.

In smaller parts of the city, such as Ciutat Vella, guided tours will be limited to just 15 people while some attractions will only allow three to eight people at once.

Tours will have to go in one direction and only use a total of 24 streets and squares in the small area.

The city council has said tours must comply with 18 good practices to make sure nuisance is kept to a minimum.

Tours must focus on improving the quality of the visitor experience and the internal and external image of the city.

They must also promote coexistence between residents, businesses and tourists and take care of public space in the city.

Guides have also been ordered to ditch megaphones in order to reduce noise pollution for residents.

They are also being urged not to tout for tourists on public roads and to encourage tourists to purchase tickets in advance.

Guides should also look for “spacious locations” to make explanations and avoid stopping the group in crowded spaces.

Groups should leave at least 50 percent of the street clear to avoid blocking the roads for other people.

Barcelona Council has said the new rules have the backing of the Catalonian Government and the guide associations.

A spokesperson said: “The aim is to improve the quality of the visitor experience and the internal and external image of the city.”

While many of Barcelona’s businesses rely on tourism, some residents are fed up with the number of tourists in the city.

People have complained that tourists gather in the streets and are often drunk or making a lot of noise.

The city has already announced it plans to crackdown on cruise ships by introducing an extra tax for passengers.

Cruise passengers are likely to be hit by the new limits on tours as many guests like to join tours when they arrive in a city.

Barcelona already has a tourist tax in place for visitors but cruise passengers will soon need to pay more.

The proposed tax has been designed to reduce pollution in the city as well as control the number of visitors.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.

Source: Read Full Article