Barcelona is the 20th most visited city in the world, and continues, year after year, to beat its record as a visitor. In 2017, Barcelona received more than 30 million tourists, leading the ranking of most visited cities in Europe together with London, Paris, Rome, and Berlin. This high trend is not a characteristic feature of the city, but has grown exponentially over the last decade. In fact, it had an increase of over 25% in just 4 years (from 2012 to over 34 million in 2016). High tourist pressure in a city with only 1.6 million inhabitants.
Low-cost flights, as well as popularization of flat renting Internet platforms by tourists such as Airbnb or Homeaway (which are cheaper than a hotel room), have contributed to the increase in tourists. With this crop casting, speculators have started buying whole blocks to transform the common-use housing into a part of the tourist industry. Owners of apartments see how it is possible to increase their own tickets by 400% if they rent tourists instead of those living in the city. For this reason, too, over 40% of the tourist apartments in Barcelona are illegal. This brings together the effect of reducing the housing stock by those who want to live in the city, resulting in a 17% increase in rental price in Barcelona.
These conditions have increased gentrification processes in different neighborhoods, and have been able to notice mass expulsion f. As of 2016, it was estimated that the old city district had lost 11% of its neighbors, and neighborhood like Gothic had lost half of its population in a decade. Scientific research shows that the relationship with tourist pressure is obvious. In fact, more than half of the buildings in the Gothic Quarter have tourist floors, and the number of beds (hotel or apartment) is equivalent to the number of neighbors.