Last year, Barcelona City Council decided to suspend the granting of licenses for tourists’ accommodation in Barcelona during a period of one year (until July 2016). The purpose of the suspension was to promote the development of the new Special Urban Tourist Accommodation Plan (PEUAT) in order to reduce massive tourism and prevent certain areas to become real amusement parks. This project affects all types of tourist accommodation such as hotels, apartments, guest houses, hostels etc.).

On March 10th 2016, the Barcelona City Council has launched the PEUAT for an initial period of 3 months. The PEUAT is designed as a tool to make tourist accommodation compatible with residents’ quality of life.

For example, the PEUAT provides the following:

  • As of July 1st 2015 (date of suspension of licenses), in order to preserve the right to housing, rest and privacy, no tourist accommodation can replace the use of residential housing;
  • Tourist accommodations shall be situated in a building where all accommodations are touristic (except regarding apartments on the ground floor or those located in a street of over 8 meters wide);
  • Finally, the PEUAT forces the city center to a zero growth policy of tourist accommodations, and license applications should be limited to the periphery.

In this sense, each district should be submitted to its own specific regulation. Therefore, Barcelona City Council will not allow the granting of new licenses in the Ciutat Vella district, Antiga Esquerra, Dreta del Eixample, part of the district of Sant Antoni, Poble Sec and Gràcia. Indeed, these areas are considered extremely saturated and a decrease of tourist accommodations is imposed. This means that when a tourist accommodation closes it will be impossible to open a new one.

The PEUAT also provides that the number of places and tourist accommodations can be maintained in the districts of the Sagrada Familia, Fort Pienc, Galvany, Putxet, Nova Gràcia or Diagonal Mar. This means that when a tourist residence closes, it will be possible to open a new one with the same accommodation capacity.

The slow growth of tourist accommodation will be permitted only in certain areas of Sants, Les Corts, Sarrià, Gràcia Horta – Nou Barris, Sant Andreu and Sant Martí (up to 4,025 extra places).

Héloïse Lopez