Over the past 12 months, the city of Barcelona has ordered the closure of 2,332 apartments operating illegally as local lodging establishments. Authorities also fined another 3,473 operators in amounts ranging from €3,000 to €60,000 as part of their “zero tolerance” policy.
Over the past 12 months, Airbnb has removed 1,036 Barcelona-based local lodging units from its website. The measure was mandated by the city of Barcelona which considered that the units were being commercialised illegally. According to figures from the municipality, 15% of illegal lets are placed on Airbnb by tenants and not by the property owner.
In 2016, the 1.6 million inhabitants of Barcelona were “overwhelmed” by more than 32 million tourists who “overloaded the city”. The City Council has approved legislation to limit the influx of tourists after more than 25 years of intense promotion of the city as a tourist destination. The plan will only have an impact after 2019. The tourism industry opposes the new plan, which says that the legislation “demonizes tourists.”