His legacy has helped shape the magnificent city of San Sebastian in Spain. It’s no wonder that many tourists come to the city to see the cultural heritage that still remains,
However, the city will soon implement some rules to limit the number of tourists. One of these plans is to prohibit hotel development. But don’t worry, the city isn’t banning existing hotels, nor is it trying to chase away tourists altogether. City officials want to ban the opening of new tourist hotels or apartments to promote a more sustainable approach to tourism.
The Mayor of San Sebastian, Eneko Goia, said that several areas of the city were declare saturate with tourism due to overtourism. According to him, the supply of holiday accommodation for tourists is already abundant.
The General Urban Planning Plan
a report on the state of the city, outlines some of the negative impacts caused by tourism, including a decline in the quality of food and culture. Residents are so fed up with the influx of tourists that anti-tourism graffiti has also appeared in San Sebastian, with messages such as “go home” splashed across monuments and bridges.
This move was initiated because the city reported 10 tourists for every 100 residents. Although visitors are beneficial to the economy, San Sebastián’s city planning strategy states that it has affected their lives.
It is hoped that this move will make the city more livable for local residents. This will also help existing hotels financially, as they will almost certainly experience higher occupancy rates and charge higher fees.
San Sebastian is not the first country in Europe, or even Spain, to do this. Palma de Mallorca became the first city in Spain to ban Airbnb in 2018.
This year, Florence in Italy announced it would ban all new Airbnbs and short-term rentals. Then there are cities like Seville, which recently announced a ban on bachelorette parties which are often held by tourists in the city. There are still many other destinations that want tourists to stay away from them, such as Hallstat Village, the village thought to have inspired the film Frozen, in the mountains of Austria which has experienced overtourism, making residents uncomfortable. Barcelona in Spain is also reportedly making plans to stop overtourism.