Among various European cities, Barcelona is a popular holiday destination for many. Not too long ago, it had an issue with over-tourism, which referred to the alarming increase of tourists in the city that made living difficult for the locals.
The over-tourism issue was not just restricted to Barcelona but it had a major impact in other European cities such as Prague, Florence and Amsterdam. It was just that the tourist-statistics in the Spanish city was awfully high.
A historic city like Barcelona, known for its beaches, UNESCO Heritage Sites and Catalonian culture, has witnessed the tourists numbers mind-bogglingly get quadrupled in a decade. From 7 million in 2010, Barcelona greeted as many as 30 million tourists in 2018 and 2019. In fact, in 2018 the Barca locals marched on the roads protesting against the mass tourism.
While the numbers were further expected to surge in 2020, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has not just caused a rapid decline in tourism Barcelona, but it has come to a standstill. The sites that were thronged by tourists earlier have a deserted look now as Spain has been under the lockdown since March 14.
The message from the government is clear: Only venture out when you need to buy essentials like groceries and medicines. People who do not adhere to these rules might face a hefty fine of 100 Euros and possibly a prison sentence. However, at 8 PM every day, the people of Spain take to their balconies to give a standing ovation to the healthcare professionals who have been tirelessly working around the country and the globe.
Once the hustling and bustling centre of the city, today looks almost unidentifiable with all the shops shut and with absolutely no people around them.
Another place in the city that witnesses a lot of visitors is Case Mila. It is the counted among the famous selfie hotspots of the city – A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984.
COVID-19 has claimed more than 15,000 lives in Spain and is currently only behind the United States. However, the situation is slowly improving in the country as the death rates have dropped recently. The positive news of the country is that 52,000 people have recovered from the deadly virus.