Fostering the decentralisation and sustainability of tourismApproval to allocate 1,221,790.44 euros, from funds generated by the tax on overnight stays in tourist accommodation (IEET), to tourism development projects carried out in different city districts. Priority will be given to aspects of tourism which are strategic for Barcelona, such as the geographical diversification of tourism and the promotion of sustainability within the sector. In a bid to attract IEET funds, the districts presented various projects to improve infrastructures and signage around different tourist assets and spaces, and the promotion of good practice for responsible tourism.
The idea in the districts is to contribute to the social, cultural and economic vitality of the neighbourhoods, putting different projects and activities within reach of local and foreign visitors alike, introducing them to the tangible and intangible attractions of the city and the local area. Likewise, the goal is to attract visitors who are respectful towards the environment and socially responsible. The following action is planned:
- L’Eixample: 71,783,73 euros for the service providing guided tours of La Model. This broad programme adapts its content for school visitors, families and tourists, complementing the free access to the site.
- Sants-Montjuïc: investment of 175,000 euros for subsidies for “Viu Montjuïc” projects, the programme of weekend festive activities is jointly organised with all cultural operators. Also, for subsidies for Trobades Informatives de Connexió, the strategic training sessions and participatory workshops involving the entire district ecosystem linked to the visitor economy, to gear it towards sustainability in tourism.
- Les Corts: 122,465,61 euros for actions such as updating the six existing accessible routes and the design of another, the Ruta Campus Sud; the installation of plaques engraved with the accounts of women who suffered repression at the former prison in Les Corts, and the update and promotion of 50,000 tourist maps which include shopping and services in the districts.
- Gràcia: 139,425,50 euros to implement different actions in the Squares Plan 2022 to consolidate changes in usage and calming measures for squares in the Vila de Gràcia neighbourhood throughout the year. Measures include various public awareness projects for local people and visitors, on coexistence and citizen boards.
- Horta-Guinardó: 40,914 euros for managing and improving the museum-style area around the anti-aircraft gun emplacements on top of the Turó de la Rovira, to improve harmony between local people and visitors. There is also a budget allocation of 40,777 euros for the tourist promotion and creation of new content such as the “Ruta literària i escènica de Marsé a Mercè”, a route linking literature and landscape through a literature and art itinerary, plus the creation of new routes in the neighbourhoods of Sant Genís dels Agudells and Montbau, and the management and execution of historical itineraries in the twelve neighbourhoods in this district. At the most commonly used entrance to the Parc de Collserola, a large structure will be installed for civic officers and information staff, at a cost of 87,150 euros.
- Sarrià – Sant Gervasi: in the Carretera de les Aigües there will be another information structure to complement the one in Horta-Guinardó, at a cost of 93,593,50 euros.
- Nou Barris: 136,100 euros for different projects, such as economic support for the Festival de Flamenc; for activities for San Froilán, one of the district’s most traditional festivities, and the promotion of the Christmas campaign for 2022, providing a boost for activities, artistic interventions and local commerce in the district.
- Sant Andreu: 300,000 euros to fund the work involved in the third stage to turn the air-raid shelter in La Sagrera into a museum space.
- Sant Martí: 14,580,50 euros for the creation of theatrical guided tours in the shopping hubs in El Clot and Poblenou.
Renewal of the civic officer service in busy tourist spaces
After two years of the pandemic, when the service was refocused to provide support for vaccination points and other related tasks, and in a scenario where tourism in the city is recovering, funds from the IEET will once again be used for the civic officer service. These figures seek to ensure coexistence and the civic use of the busiest public spaces, through a budgetary item of one million euros.
In March, the last period for which official data are available, figures reaffirmed the recovery in the volume of tourists as from the second half of 2021. This trend was further assisted through the city hosting different congresses and events, particularly the MWC and 4YFN. The period between January and March 2022 saw 1.6 million tourists stay in the city, with over five million overnight stays between them. This represents an increase of 382.2% and 283% respectively compared to 2021, and a fall of 33.6% and 26.4% compared to 2019.
The service managed by the municipal company BSM includes 58 officers throughout the year and up to 70 during the summer months in places with the highest density of tourists. Civic officers carry out support tasks throughout the year, working in the mornings at the ten Citizen Help and Information Offices.