JUST IN: Pretty Spanish town celebrates being wiped off Google Maps after overtourism chaos

A Spanish neighbourhood has come up with a unique way of handling overtourism – deleting themselves from the map. The Spanish suburb of La Salut, minutes away from Barcelona, had long complained about the impact of overcrowded tourism....READ FULL ARTICLE

Every year approximately 9 million tourists flock to Park Güell, an architectural marvel in La Salut.

The park was designed like a fairytale village by renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, who famously designed Barcelona’s Sagrada Família. Guell, which was opened as a public park in 1926, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

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The park remains the second most popular attraction in Catalonia after the Sagrada Basilica. It features a cluster of mosaic-covered buildings, staircases and public squares.

Visitors also show up in the neighbourhood for renowned tapas bars and seafood restaurants.

However, a campaign to erase the 116 bus route between Barcelona’s city centre and La Salut has finally succeeded, sparking hopes that tourist numbers will also dwindle.

Elderly residents complained that they were unable to get home using public transport since the 20-seater minibus was always packed with tourists.

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The city council has now arranged with Google and Apple to have the bus route deleted from the online platforms. Local César Sánchez had spent eight years lobbying the council to address the overtourism problem in the tiny hilltop suburb.

Mr Sánchez said: “We laughed at the idea at first. We’re amazed that the measure has been so effective.”

He joked: “The next thing we need to do is to get the whole of Park Güell removed from Google Maps.” Another resident Luz López, 75, told elDiario.es: “Before, the bus was so full even people with walking sticks couldn’t get on.”

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A Google spokesman said they would only delete a bus route if requested to do so by the local authority.

Barcelona itself has long struggled to cope with the overwhelming tourist arrivals.

This month, Barcelona became the latest European city to increase its city-wide tourist tax to 3.25 euros (£2.78) per night as the city seeks to curb overtourism....READ FULL ARTICLE

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