If three's a crowd, imagine eight million. That's the number of overnight visitors Barcelona welcomed in 2016, making it the fourth most-visited city in Europe for the year. And while popularity was great for awhile, the city is now responding with a law that limits tourists.
Considering Barcelona only has 1.6 million residents, we can kind of understand the new 'Special Urban Plan for Tourist Accommodation.' The law is expected to start having an impact as of 2019, and regulates a temporary halt on the construction of new hotels, and a stop to new licenses for tourist apartments. That means the city is keeping at a mere 75,000 hotel beds and 50,000 tourist apartment beds — way fewer than what could house the number of overnight visitors.
The locals appear to be all for it. With limited housing in the city, the overwhelming tourism has called for a rise in rent prices. The tourism industry, however, isn't having any of it, pointing out that of the 32 million people who visited Barcelona last year, nearly 23 million of those were day-trippers. It sounds to us that Barcelona is going to stay popular for a little while longer, beds or not.