Published on : Friday, November 25, 2016
It said in one of the statements that Barcelona had initiated proceedings which will result in €600,000 fines for each of them for the repeat offence of advertising tourist lodgings online” without authorisation.
It was declared in June that Barcelona would up the maximum fine imposed on home rental sites for promoting ‘illegal’ accommodation. In fact, under 2012 regional law, any apartment rented to visitors in Catalonia must be logged in the province’s Tourism Registry and is required to have the necessary permit. Airbnb and its rival HomeAway was imposed with a fine of €30,000 last year by the Barcelona authorities but this time they slapped them with the maximum fine.
Barcelona is one of the finest and popular destinations for short-term holidays which were massively affected by the rise of home-sharing sites.
Their popularity has caused the private vacation rental market to surge and now home stays are more popular than hotels – and many local people are unhappy as a result.
A popular 2014 documentary about Barcelona’s tense relationship with visitors, “Bye Bye Barcelona”, warned that the city was becoming “a theme park”.
According to planning Councillor Janet Sanz the rise in the maximum fine is a result of the two sites continuing to advertise holiday apartments that did not have permits.