Barcelona Theme Park is not a brand but a reality. Unfortunately. Because this amazing and special city on the Mediterranean coast is under a constant and unstoppable transformation.
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And not all news about Barcelona as a tourist destination are positive and happy though.
This last week I have heard some terrible news. You know there is a tax on each and every hotel night you spend in Barcelona. About 1,20 €. Many other cities as New York are also taxing tourists —in this way and in other indirect ways.
The news though is that there will also be a tax on each and every tourist. Regardless of if this person is spending a night in a hotel or not. Cruisers who just stop for some hours. Just to have a quick visit to Ramblas. They will also be obliged to pay this tax.
The effects on the city will be amazing. And destroying, for what I can foresee.
Barcelona Theme Park effects
The city has been changing gradually since 1992. Olympic games in Barcelona had a positive effect. It put us on the world map! And by positioning this city onto the most interesting cities in the world to visit we started to be interesting.
Gaudi’s masterworks as Casa Batlló, Sagrada Familia and park Güell are just dome of the highlights. All Asian tourists see them in their checklist of the “Barcelona must”.
Picasso Museu, Fundació Miró and Ramblas are also relevant highlights. Passeig de Gràcia is the shopping boulevard where you’ll find all the designer brands. From Apple to Zara. Armani to Versace, Dolce to Tod’s.
The massive tourism is changing Barcelona’s authentic life though.
Barcelona’s citizens are not strolling on Ramblas anymore.
This way Barcelona’s own population are also changing their routines and their leisure time activities.
Many families feel rejected by the higher rental prices and have to leave the city. They move out, quite far away.
In other words, I feel Barcelona is like a woman having surgery all over her face just to look as a movie star. Though the really appealing in each and every woman is her uniqueness.
Barcelona Theme Park perversion
Barcelona citizens are literally pushed out of all tourist areas. Higher prices, superficial services and standard business formulas as Starbucks don’t mean much to born Barcelonians.
What about old fashioned and authentic cafés with marble tables and hand made wooden stools? They have been substituted recently by Starbucks and McDonald’s.
Is this the Barcelona you’d like to visit?
Many tourists feel much safer in this kind of entourage though. Everybody in the world knows how Starbucks works. So that makes you feel in the comfort zone.
When visiting Barcelona you might be interested in how Barcelona really works though.
Barcelona Theme Park uniformity
I visited Marseille a few years ago. All the “canaille” or scoundrel ambience was still there. Barcelona was like that no too long ago.
Design and over-designing the shops and the local businesses has had this uniforming effect on Barcelona.
Barcelona’s unique personality is in danger. In my opinion it is already compromised.
What is is our new Mayor Ada Colau doing for us? She sees the city as a million making business as well. And that’s bad news.
We need some balance.
Please understand me well. I love tourism! Because pride is what I feel when visitors tell me they love my city!
Barcelona has been living on tourism a great deal. Not only during the last decade. But we need to plan ahead and I think it is relevant to keep our genuine personality.
To keep Barcelona interesting I think we need to find a balance where Barcelona’s and visitors can get along well. And this is the Mayor’s responsibility.
Mass tourism is not the answer. Right the opposite, it is the end. So the real Barcelona’s death.
More and more of my customers speak about this effect. Especially the ones who are re-visiting the city after some years. The find many changes, and don’t see all of them as good ones.
“You are one of the best things here to do and visit. Instead of getting universal you evolve to the better. You aim for personalisation. You are a nice example of how things should evolve around here”.
Thank you so much for visiting!
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See you soon in Barcelona!