Backlash: Banners against apartments for tourists hang from balconies in the Barceloneta neighbourhood in Barcelona, where residents regularly demonstrate to protest against the growing pressure from tourism and tourists’ bad behaviour. Ada Colau is threatening to fine firms like Airbnb and Booking.com if they market apartments from tourists without a number showing that they are on the Catalan tourism register. BARCELONA: Barcelona’s new mayor is picking a fight with home rental websites as she tries to crack down on uncontrolled tourism that she fears could drive out poor residents and spoil the Catalan capital’s charm.
- Airbnb, which has around 18,600 listings in Barcelona, its third highest number in Europe, said property owners could add the tourism registry number to their listing and said its users must comply with local rules.
- Colau, a left-wing former housing activist elected in May, also wants rental websites to hand over information on the property owners.
- The dispute with rental websites is an example of the friction created by the new online “sharing economy”, ranging from San Francisco and Santa Monica restricting short-term home rentals to court injunctions that have hit online taxi service Uber in a number of countries.