Spain’s San Sebastian Is The Next European City To Curb Over Tourism; Plans To Ban New Hotels

by Tejashee Kashyap
Spain’s San Sebastian Is The Next European City To Curb Over Tourism; Plans To Ban New Hotels

Whether you’re a food lover, a culture enthusiast, or an adventure seeker, the Spanish city, of San Sebastian has a unique and magnetic allure. It has earned its place as a must-visit destination for travellers seeking a unique and enriching experience. However, the Spanish city is planning to ban new hotel openings in order to curb overtourism.

San Sebastian Plans To Ban New Hotels

Despite having one of the oldest cultures in Europe, the city is nonetheless overrun with visitors and experiences over tourism. The government intends to prohibit the construction of new hotels and restrict the number of visitors.
To encourage environmentally friendly travel, the government intends to outlaw the construction of any new hotels or vacation rentals. However, it’s hardly the first place in Europe to make such a significant choice.

One of the oldest cultures in Europe is that of the Basque Country, whose legacy has influenced the magnificent Spanish city of San Sebastian. It’s understandable why so many people visit, but the city is about to enforce some restrictions in an effort to reduce the number of visitors. Hotel prohibition is one such idea.

Don’t worry, though; the city isn’t attempting to banish all tourists or simply discard the ones that already exist. To encourage a more environmentally friendly approach to tourism, city officials wish to prohibit the construction of any new hotels or vacation rentals.

San Sebastian has seen an increase in anti-tourism graffiti, with phrases like “go home” scrawled across landmarks and bridges, as locals have grown tired of the volume of visitors. The initiative should improve the quality of life for residents of the city.

Furthermore, it’s not the first location in Spain or even Europe to do this. 2018 saw Palma de Mallorca become the first Spanish city to outlaw Airbnbs, ahead of San Sebastian. Florence, Italy, likewise said in 2023 that it would not allow any more Airbnbs. Additionally, stag and hen dos were outlawed in Seville. Additionally, a few locations request that visitors avoid them.

Also Read: Schools Shut, Flights Cancelled & Flood Alerts! Storm Ciaran Causes Havoc In North & West Europe

But, San Sebastian Has Its Own Charm

San Sebastian’s history is a tapestry woven with the threads of Basque traditions, Spanish influence, and international connections. The city’s culture reflects this unique fusion, evident in its vibrant festivals, local traditions, and lively atmosphere.

The city boasts a remarkable concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants and pintxos bars, offering a culinary experience like no other. Pintxos, the Basque version of tapas, are small, flavorful dishes that range from traditional to avant-garde. Part of the culinary culture in San Sebastian is bar-hopping, where one can sample various pintxos in different bars, creating a delightful culinary adventure.

The city’s commitment to sustainable practices is also evident. San Sebastian is easy to explore on foot or by bike, with dedicated bike lanes and rental services available.

Definitely, San Sebastian leaves an indelible mark on all who have the privilege to visit.

Cover image credits: Canva

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