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Reaction to Barcelona’s proposed ban on STRs

Barcelona short-term rentals

There has been a strong reaction across the industry to the Mayor of Barcelona’s pledge to ban short-term rentals in the city.

“We are confronting what we believe is Barcelona’s largest problem,” Colliboni told a city government event. “From 2029, if there are no setbacks, tourist flats as we conceive of them today will disappear from the city of Barcelona.”

Simon Lehmann, CEO and Co-Founder of consultancy firm AJL Atelier, described the proposal as "short-sighted" while Sustonica CEO and Co-Founder, Vanessa de Souza Lage, said STRs play a pivotal role in dispersing tourism throughout the city.

“While the intention to address the housing crisis is commendable, we believe this approach is short-sighted and fails to consider the broader impact on the community and economy,” said Lehmann.

He continued: “The short-term rentals industry plays a crucial role in supporting local economies by creating jobs, driving tourism, and boosting spending at local shops and restaurants. Banning STRs could lead to a significant loss of income for many residents who rely on this sector. Additionally, it may drive up hotel prices, making Barcelona less accessible to tourists and potentially reducing tourism overall.

“It's important to note that STRs in Barcelona account for less than 1% of all apartments. This indicates that the housing crisis cannot be effectively resolved by targeting such a small segment of the market. Instead, a more comprehensive and collaborative approach involving all stakeholders, including the STR industry, is necessary to find sustainable solutions to housing challenges.

De Souza Lage, who is also a Barcelona resident, said: “STRs are essential for dispersing tourism throughout the city. My neighbourhood, for example, which has no hotels, benefits from STRs bringing in visitors.

“By supporting STRs, we encourage a more equitable distribution of tourism’s economic benefits and promote a more sustainable and locally integrated model of tourism. This approach not only strengthens the local economy but also enhances the visitor experience by fostering genuine connections with the community. For these reasons, cities – and specifically Barcelona – should not ban STRs.”



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