Lonely Planet Writer

Barcelona's mayor considering introduction of tourist tax on day-trippers

Barcelona is considering a tax on day-trippers to placate angry residents who say hordes of tourists on their streets have become a bigger problem than poverty.

Barcelona is planning to tax day-tripping visitors to the city as a way of placating angry residents who say tourists are a bigger problem in the city than the poor
Barcelona is planning to tax day-tripping visitors to the city as a way of placating angry residents who say tourists are a bigger problem in the city than the poor Image by Bert Kaufmann / CC BY 2.0

The MailOnline reports that visitors who say overnight in the Catalan city already pay a tourist tax to hotels. Barcelona attracts nearly eight million of these visitors every year. Their €18 million spending per day is responsible  for 14% of the city’s revenue. The city’s mayor Ada Colau is looking to get a bigger return from those who only day-trip. She feels millions of euro could be raised from people on organised tours or from cruise ships during their short stay. Cars from abroad could pay via road tolls or through more expensive parking charges, added the Mayor.

Another councillor Gala Pin agreed that tourists took a heavy toll on the city in terms of security and street cleaning. Barcelona city hall found in a survey last year that 5.3% of residents felt that tourism was the biggest problem – even ahead of poverty – which was ranked by 5.1% as the most serious difficulty facing the city. It has emerged that since hosting the Olympics Games in 1992, tourism has tripled in the city. And a study three years ago by MasterCard, ranked only London and Paris ahead of Barcelona in numbers visiting on an annual basis. Last July Mayor Colau came up with a plan to cap tourist numbers entering Barcelona to avoid the city ending up ‘like Venice.’