The city council of Barcelona has a message for tourists who want to visit and stay in a home-share or vacation rental: Make sure it’s properly licensed first. A social media campaign and accompanying website sponsored by the Catalonian government is encouraging visitors to check if the vacation listing they want to rent legally registered with the city. It also encourages locals to report flats they believe are being rented out illegally. The online process for tourists can be done entirely in the English language. Naturally, there is a hashtag too: #fairtourismBCN In keeping with a wider trend in Spain, Barcelona has been on the vanguard of issuing restrictions for Airbnb and similar sites for several years now. In 2011, the region of Cataluña created the license that all legal vacation rentals must now bear, known as the HUT license. Then in 2014, it stopped issuing new licenses completely; at present, there are 9,600 apartments in the city that are properly licensed. Housing councillor Janet Sanz recently told the Guardian they don’t have a plan to issue new licenses any time soon—effectively putting a cap on the vacation rental market. Credit: Rosie Spinks for Quartzy, 18 July 2018.
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