Ada Colau has once again shown that cruise ships have become one of its main objectives in the fight against crowds of tourists, especially in the center of Barcelona. The mayor has written this Tuesday letters to the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragones; to the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Rachel Sanchezand the president of the Port of Barcelona, Damia Calvetin which he urges them to create a table in which the administrations participate “to talk and agree on the limit of cruise ships that Barcelona can accept and consequently establish a clear and precise regulation”. The latter has already responded with another letter, where he diplomatically denies some of the mayor’s accusations, but agrees to seek solutions “Based on objective data”.
The Holy Week served as a warning to the Colau government. Essentially the majority shareholder, Barcelona in Comúwhich is the one that most fears the excesses of the return of the tourists. Faced with the city full again, the ‘comuns’ raised their hands to their heads at the collapse of various parts of the city’s historic center, saturated with visitors.
On Easter Monday, April 18, the councilor of Ciutat Vella, jordi rabassaexpressed his concern in several messages on the social network Twitter, in which he made it clear that in his opinion the economic benefit generated by the sightseeing It doesn’t make up for the inconvenience. On Friday, Rabassa joined the cruise debate with an explicit message: “Stop cruises. We are risking our health. We are risking the life of the neighborhoods. We are risking Ciutat Vella”.
Because Barcelona, including the municipal government, had long been waiting for the tourists to return, who by stages had already filled the streets quite a lot. But in view of the Holy Week, Rabassa wrote on the social network: “The neighbors who have stayed in Ciutat Vella this Holy Week have suffered some crowds of visitors unbearable. The tourism business community is satisfied, but this situation does not bring anything positive either for the neighbors or for the local economic activity”.
Like the Balearic Islands
Colau called on Friday to limit the arrival of cruise ships to Barcelona, in the line in which the Balearic Islands have done: since May, a input limit which implies that until 2026 no more than three cruise ships will be able to coincide in the port of Palma. The mayor of Barcelona applauds the Balearic example but has not entered into specifics about what the limitation should be in the case of the Catalan capital.
In their letter to Aragonès, Sánchez y Calvet describes the situation as “unsustainable due to the daily arrival of large boats”, warns that the trend will continue in summer and points out as negative consequences “the tourist overcrowding and the strong impact on the environment”. “I am convinced that you will agree with me that the model without limits that we have had until now is not sustainable.” She also recalls that the council agreed to transfer the activity to the Moll Adossat terminals, “the furthest from the city center”.
Answer from Calvet
Precisely, Calvet has replied with another letter agreeing to create a work table, in search of solutions “appropriate to the city model” of Barcelona and that start from “real and objective data”. In fact, the Port is implementing new terminals at Adossat (up to seven), eliminating other locations. He rules out “an alarming growth” of these, given that for years there have been a stabilized average of 800 annual cruises.
The director of the questioned infrastructure also reminds him in the letter of the work that is being carried out with Barcelona Regional and the city council in terms of sustainability and mobilityin addition to the economic impact that cruise tourism has on the city.