ABB and Homeaway Fined 600k by Barcelona

Article from about the continued crackdown of STRs here in Barcelona…

I hate it when there is no date on an article.

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It’s on the top, on the photo

But in the article there is a hyperlink in this sentence: In July and August, the town hall reported that 615 illegal tourist apartments in the city had been located and their owners fined €30,000 each and ordered to cease and desist."

The hyperlink is dated to Sept 2016 so you know it’s a recent article. The photo is 2015 but the article is newer

On my phone, I can see the dateline. On my computer there’s a huge ad that covers the dateline, and since I always scroll quickly passed the ad so I don’t have to watch them, I never saw the author or date. Thank you.

How funny I was reading the article and the mayor says, I don’t want this to be a cheap souvenir town. I was thinking the same of Seattle - it’s a town full of Airbnb guests, not real people anymore.We’re selling out so fast it makes your head spin.

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Barcelona’s economy is in in toilet, he should be grateful people are coming and spending their money. I do hope they great ABB I stayed in there hasn’t been shut down

I believe ‘he’ is a ‘she’. This is the old struggle between economic forces clashing with the local way of life.

The usual pattern: her freezing permits will increase prices of existing accommodations, thus yes it will check or curtail the growth in number of visitors, true. But what also tends to happen the city becomes more expensive and that is the wild card, tourism in general may start reversing, depending on the economic demographics of present visitors, meaning future affordability, which the article didn’t mention.

What also could happen, the move may raise property values and sure enough the locals start selling to ‘foreigners’ out slowly and in time the city’s base population changes anyway.

This experiment will be watched closely. Not an easy balancing act.


I think you may be thinking of Barcelona during the financial crisis, when yes our economy was in the toilet. Currently the economy has steadily rebounded, and continues to grow at rates 2x that of the Eurozone.

As for what Ada Colau is doing, I think it is WAY to extreme. She ‘temporarily’ froze permits about 2 years ago, and has not announced any plans to reinstate the issuing of the permits. She also wants to limit the number of cruise ships that can dock in our port, etc. Tourism is not a bad thing, especially in a city where 20% of the economy depends on it. However, I am all for responsible tourism. In the past 2 years we have had 4 hotels open with in one block of our flat, that is added to the 4ish that were already here. My nice residential neighborhood is now flush with tourists and hotels. That doesn’t even include the ABBs, which last time I looked was about 50 (within the same 1 block radius). It is too much.

There needs to be a ‘middle’ ground, I don’t know what that middle ground is, but a free for all is not it. My thought is Ada Colau halted the permits bc she too does not have a good solution, but after 2+ years there should be something more than she ‘doesn’t want Barcelona to turn into a tourist city’. ABB is no angel in this situation either, they actively recruit people to hosts in BCN, telling them the laws don’t matter, and to host until they get fined. I posted here about this practice

Cruise ships — uggh. Just say no to fn cruise ships.

@azreala No wonder so many tourists. How many land per week? Those are not needing lodging right?

In ‘high season’ I believe 5-6 dock here a night. It is an INSANE amount of people that descend onto the more touristic parts of the city. During the winter its maybe 1 a day. Since we are approaching the holidays, there are lots of tourists, but typically winter is very slow.

Cruise ships are the scourge of the seas and every port they sail into. It’s absolutely awful in poorer countries – multi-billionaire dollar cruise liner companies refuse to even build the ports they sail into, stating that they are bringing money into the local economy. (Although the shopping strips built for disembarking guests are all owned by foreign capital).

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Barcelona had to spend the $$$ here, in the height of our financial crisis. Not a good situation.

I always hated the Duty Free shopping areas in the poorer Caribbean countries, it always felt so wrong to me. People throwing away money while the people outside begged for pennies.

They should send their tourists here to Malaga - a much nicer destination according to many of our visitors! The system we now have in place for regulating short term rentals is fair and, except except for initial teething troubles, surprisingly unbureaucratic.

Malaga started off from a much lower baseline in terms of tourism than Barcelona. For many years it was known as a rather down-at-heel town with an airport that was a gateway to the popular tourist destination of the Costa del Sol, but in the last ten years it has spruced itself up enormously and has put the encouragement of tourism as one of its top priorities. Time will tell of course if it eventually finds itself in the same situation as Barca… there is certainly a shortage of rental properties in the centre, but I think this is more likely to be due to the Spanish inheritance system. Since all members of the family have equal shares in any inherited property and an equal say in what to do with it, many privately-owned properties in the historic centre languish unused and uncared for for decades …

I agree about cruise ships though … when they first started docking in Malaga, about 5 years ago it was quite a novelty and we used to go down to the port to watch them come in. Now we sometimes have 4 a day and the streets of the old town are rammed though luckily the majority of the passengers are bussed off to Granada and Sevilla (GREAT fun in mid-July - ha!). Everyone who lives here knows not to try to shop/drink/eat in the Centro Historico until about 5pm when all the passengers have to return to the ship!

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@Malagachica You know how I feel about the Casta del Sol!!!:heart_eyes: I must come visit you!

I always laugh to myself when people tell us they are going to Granada, Sevilla, and/or Rhonda in July/Aug. Its like no one does any research on the weather! Can you imagine?

I think Malaga has a similar philosophy to here, there is no way you will catch me in the Gotico/Placa Catalunya/ PSG/etc pretty much ever, because of the tourist situation. I had to bike through the Gotico last week and I want to die afterwards.

Isn’t it awful - and who gets on a ship to the Caribbean (or wherever) and wants to go to a mall for a Louis Vuitton purse & Rolex? And lets not even get into the living conditions & pay of the workers on the ships… we did a cruise to Alaska with my parents and I was horrified when I realized how much the workers are relying on our tips. Pay your damn workers fair wages!

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Barca is stunning. Even so I was last there 10 years ago, well before the hordes arrived.

I had two Airbnb guests who complained about what tourism had done to the city. I also met a Barca host at last years Open who had gone from one property to 30 all with money made on Airbnb.


I was there for about a week a year ago and this is what everyone at restaurants, my ABB I stayed at and galleries around town stated to me. My sister and her family also stayed for part of my visit and have been there twice since (they live in France) and this has continued to be their experience of what locals tell them. They say they desperately rely on the tourists. Obviously if you live there, you would no better, but this is not a mutual feeling amongst all your counterparts it seems.

Glad that since you spent a week in Barcelona a year ago, and that you are expert. I am not saying that our economy does not have much to be desired, but it is most certainly not in the toilet, with unemployment at the lowest since before the econ crisis. I would also doubt that most of the ‘locals’ say they desperately rely on tourists, since the Mayor is anti-tourist and was voted into office by the majority.

I personally do not agree with the anti-tourist sentiments, but do think the city becoming completely over run with tourists isn’t a good thing.

No way all 30 have legal touristic permits :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: