Today’s Solutions: December 10, 2023

You’d think thousands of travelers disembarking from cruise ships in Barcelona would be a good thing for the city. However, these tourists coming in from the many yearly cruise liners don’t book accommodation, don’t spend as much as you’d think, and contribute to city congestion. The huge ships also contribute to pollution. 

Now the capital of Catalonia is introducing measures to limit the number of cruise ships that dock in the city. 

Less is more

Before the Pandemic, Barcelona was Europe’s busiest cruise ship terminal. Those days would see Barcelona’s streets suddenly crowded with thousands and thousands of tourists with little benefit. Businesses in the city’s center would benefit but not enough to compensate for the overcrowding and congestion. 

“There are thousands of people who arrive at once,” Mayor Ada Colau told the newspaper, El Pais. “Most of them stay for just a few hours and are highly concentrated in the downtown area. They generate a feeling of collapse.”

With post-Pandemic travel restarting, over 125 cruise ships docked in May alone, and the city is rethinking returning to the way things were. The regional government discussed a tax and a plan to ensure that tourists and travel companies pay more, but this would do nothing about congestion and pollution. These cruise ships emit massive amounts of sulfur oxide and nitrogen in the port, and Mayor Colau is instead pushing for a limit on cruise ships. 

This might sound counterintuitive, and there is already controversy about the plan, but officials seem to think that this would be to the city’s benefit. The small economic benefit simply isn’t worth the strain it puts on the city and the ecosystem. 

“We cannot go back to the 3.1 million cruise passengers,” Deputy Mayor Janet Sanz told Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia. “They are visitors who do not add value to the city. With the pandemic, the perception of public space has changed and we cannot return to previous scenarios. The impact is too great for residents.”

They are not alone. In Europe, Venice, Dubrovnik, Santorini, Dublin, and Bruges have also introduced caps on cruise ships.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Growing the green workforce: US commits $41M to clean energy training centers

The United States is preparing for an energy transformation, and it's no secret that a trained workforce is critical to making the transition to ...

Read More

Greenery, berries, and creative accents: elevate your holiday décor with nati...

During the holidays, the timeless charm of beautifying our spaces with fresh greenery, vivid fruits, and berries resonates strongly, reflecting customs established in millennia ...

Read More

How to extend the lifespan of your avocados by a month

When you know your avocados are in their peak ripe stage but you're not ready to use them yet, there’s no reason to let ...

Read More

Avatar’s motion AI tech helps researchers detect rare diseases

Researchers are using motion capture artificial intelligence technology that brings characters to life in films like Avatar to track the onset of diseases that ...

Read More