In 2021, tourists held a protest against cruise ships (Image: Getty)

ESP - Spanish hostpot plans limits for cruises and tourists - 'we can't take infinite numbers'

Barcelona's mayor has promised to limit tourism and cruise ships as she seeks re-election. The Spanish city is one of Europe's most visited holiday destinations.

Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, has said the city needs to limit the number of tourists. The coastal Spanish city attracts a wide range of tourists, some of who travel on cruise ships.

Colau told The Times: “We can’t take infinite numbers of tourists. There has to be a sense of limits and order.”

Barcelona receives more than 27 million tourists per year and locals have expressed concerns about overcrowding.

Housing is also an issue in the city as many residents are forced to leave the centre due to the high number of holiday lets.

Colau has limited the number of hotel beds in the city and forbidden the opening of new hotels in the centre.

The mayor also closed illegal tourist apartments rented out on sites such as Airbnb and banned further licences for them.

She is now hoping to reduce the number of cruise ships allowed to visit the port and stop the airport being extended.

“Forty percent of the cruise ships stop for four hours. They don’t give the city economic return, and thousands of people disembark, create great mobility issues and then leave. It is an industry we have to limit,” Colau told The Times.

Cruise tourism is controversial due to the pollution the ships cause and the number of people entering the city at once.

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