Barcelona bans new hotels in the city centre


Barcelona is curbing the number of rooms for tourists in the city centre in a controversial move aimed at appeasing residents concerned about sky-high property prices.

The move is opposed by hotel and business owners.

The city council on Friday approved the proposal from Barcelona mayor Ada Colau, a former activist who made a name for herself campaigning against bank-ordered evictions.

The plan will grant new licences for hotels, serviced apartments or other establishments offering rooms to visitors only in limited numbers and on the outskirts of the city.

No new licences are expected in the city centre even if current businesses close down.

Barcelona received 32 million visitors in 2016 according to the city government, although more than half only made day trips while staying in nearby coastal towns or on cruise ships.

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