By Oisin Sweeney • 15 January 2021 • 20:32
Some locals are worried that over-tourism could ruin Seville's historic centre - Image Source: EWN Media Group
SEVILLE authorities say they will bring in plans to regulate the city’s tourist accommodation as many locals fear their neighbourhoods are being ruined by oversaturation.
In today’s environment of a global pandemic, one can walk across Seville’s ancient centre without hearing any language other than the city’s native Andalucian Spanish. However, before travel restrictions were rolled out worldwide in 2020, many locals feared that Seville’s labyrinthine cobbled streets were becoming besieged by an oversaturation of tourists – leading to the demise of traditional communities and an AirBnB-induced surge in rent prices.
The mayor of Andalucia’s capital, Juan Espadas, says that there are “more than enough arguments” for Seville to adopt new measures to regulate the city’s tourist accommodation. The government hopes to strike a balance between the important tourism sector, which has suffered greatly during the pandemic, and the lifeblood of the proud city that some fear may lose its charm if visitors one day outnumber locals.
Following the example set by the northern city of Bilbao, which also receives a high volume of visitors, Seville has agreed to set new regulations to bring standards to the type of accommodation offered to tourists. Currently, the centre is flooded with apartments offering short-term stays on Airbnb and other platforms. New regulations would see the process of bringing such properties to the tourist markets made more official and rigid, to keep a balance between local residents and brief visitors.
The city says they will make every effort to retain the balance of profit and preservation in their new tourism regulations, and promise that any regulation will affect the expansion of tourist property as opposed to those already in operation.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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