The travel section of The Times of India has reported on the plans the City of San Sebastian has to limit the arrival of more tourists by prohibiting the opening of new hotels or tourist apartments.

The goal is to promote sustainable tourism as the city, with one of the oldest cultures in Europe, is being flooded by tourists.  The mayor, Eneko Goya, states that some places in the city are now “saturated” and that there are too many lodging options for tourists.

Other problems that mass tourism is causing the is sharp drop in the quality of food and culture.  Even the city’s residents are getting “sick of the tourists,” leading them to protest the arrival of so many.

This is something we’ve commented on many times.  It is essential, but extremely difficult, to strike that balance between welcoming tourists and protecting the heart and soul of our cities and countryside.

The arrival of tourists must have a positive effect on all of society, and not just in the wallets of the owners of hotels, bars, restaurants, and short-term rentals.

Is tourism necessary?  Without a doubt, yes.  We still remember a time when we accused our elected officials of being incapable of attracting tourists to our country.  But the goal is not to destroy who we are to become a low-cost, and low-quality, “theme park.”

There must exist a balance that allows for people who are interested in our culture, traditions, cuisine, landscapes, and more to come and discover them, while preserving our values and the interests of society.  This includes ensuring affordable homes in our cities and towns that allow even those just starting out today to find a home.

Our streets cannot become “hotel hallways” where only tourists stay and where local residents are unable to find a home.

Seeing the prices for a flat in San Sebastian, and throughout the country, ought to set of every alarm.  Our institutions must step up to ensure that all residents can afford a dignified home.  But society must also set up if they see that what is happening is immoral, if not illegal.  And while the institutions definitely have responsibilities, so do all of us.  And this topic requires urgent action.

Times of India – 4/11/2023 – India

This European city is planning to ban new hotels to promote sustainable tourism

San Sebastian, a gorgeous Spanish city in Europe, is planning to ban the construction of new hotels in the city. The city, with the oldest cultures in Europe, remains flooded with tourists and suffers from overtourism. Therefore, the government is planning to limit tourist numbers and ban new hotels.

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Last Updated on Feb 12, 2024 by About Basque Country

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