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29 Mar 2024


Catalonia: Activists call for stricter restrictions on tourism sector during worst drought in 200 years

"Barcelona's tourism industry going 'unpunished' amid drought, activists say", 22 March 2024

As the Spanish region of Catalonia battles its worst drought on record, activists are beginning to question Barcelona's mass tourism model. Should Spain's most visited city be allowed to welcome even more tourists this summer amid a state of emergency? The Down to Earth team takes a closer look.

As of February 1, nearly 6 million people in Barcelona and its surrounding areas have been affected by water restrictions. Businesses have been ordered to cut water consumption by 25 percent, with the figure rising to a whopping 80 percent for farmers. Residents have also been asked to stay within a limit of 200 litres per day. 

With the entire population facing restrictions, activists say the region's tourism industry is not doing its part. So far, hotels have been exempt from most restrictions. A ban on refilling swimming pools has come into effect, but many have already been filled up since last summer.