Scot picked up this from the CBC:

Barcelona has had its fill of tourists. …

Two months ago, city council approved a ban on all new hotels, hostels and tourist apartments in the city centre.

It expects to go even further today with the Strategic Tourism Plan, which will regulate all aspects of tourism, from working conditions in the sector to the way tourists use public space. …

Measures in the pipeline include hiking taxes on tourist apartments by classifying them as businesses rather than residential properties — to the annoyance of owners, who complain they are unfairly targeted. …

Another measure aims to raise costs for day-trippers with a massive fee hike — from 4.5 euros to 34 euros — for each tourist bus that parks at the foot of Montjuic, the castle-topped hill that overlooks the city and the port.

Some measures are already being rolled out. One neighbourhood has repurposed curbside parking, moving restaurant terraces off busy sidewalks and onto platforms installed on parking spots.

Segways and electric bikes, which pose a danger in the old town’s narrow streets, have also been restricted. …

Airbnb is refusing to pay the $650,000 US fine that Barcelona slapped on it last year, and finding and then shutting down illegal apartments one by one is a lengthy, inefficient process.

In the historic Gothic district, 27 per cent of all housing is being used as tourist accommodation and rents have shot up by 25 per cent since 2014, official city statistics show.

They also reveal that the number of residents in the area has fallen by almost one-half in the past decade. …

Local shops that have been serving residents for a lifetime have been forced to make way for pricey, tourist-oriented emporiums, says Agustin Cócola, a Cardiff University geographer studying the effects of tourism in Barcelona. …

Tourism creates an estimated 14 per cent of jobs in Barcelona, according to a 2016 official city report.

But much of that work pays minimum wage or less — meaning workers don’t pay tax. Many of the jobs are also seasonal, says Cócola. …

The dilemma is that whatever problems the tourist hordes bring, no one wants to kill the golden goose.

At the end of the day, the business community knows that if the city becomes oversaturated and homogeneous, it could lose the charm that drew visitors in the first place, says Colom.

Maintaining a balance is in everyone’s interest, he says. But agreeing on how to do that is proving to be easier said than done.

Full story here.