Before COVID-19, barely a year ago, Barcelona has struggled to manage the number of tourists descending on its streets. With more than 30 million visitors in 2019, tourists were about to far outnumber the local population of 1.6 million, which put a strain on the resources of the Catalan capital. The City Council of Barcelona has announced a war to numerous Airbnb apartments without a license which drove residents out and even passed laws restricting certain tours in its most crowded areas. The graffiti made by locals on the walls of buildings in most touristic areas like “Tourists Go Home” were not a surprise on the streets of Barcelona and were not particularly welcoming. But the influx of tourists just did not stop.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed it all within a few months of 2020. The number of visitors collapsed immensely amid the pandemic. Having grown economically so much dependent on tourism, Barcelona is paying the price for having a monocultural economy and now has the challenge to diversify. In this photographic project I am documenting how coronavirus has affected Barcelona, its businesses and its people most of whom were heavily dependant on the tourist trade, because a photograph says sometimes more than a thousand words…
Passeig de Gracia, the most luxurious avenue in Barcelona
Passeig de Gràcia is one of the major avenues of Barcelona and one of its most important shopping, business and touristic areas, containing several of the most celebrated pieces of Catalan modernist architecture. Passeig de Gràcia is regarded as the most expensive street in Barcelona and in Spain.