Barcelona bus route removed from map apps to tackle overcrowding in latest ‘anti-tourist’ move in Spain

17 April 2024, 08:59

Visitors flocked to the area to see Park Güell
Visitors flocked to the area to see Park Güell. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

Residents of a town in Spain are celebrating a move to wipe themselves off the map because of an influx of foreigners.

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Residents of La Salut, near Barcelona, were fed up of years of being unable to get around because of packed buses and crowds of holidaymakers.

Tourists were flooding the area to see Park Guell, a fairytale mosaic village designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudí.

Now locals have the place to themselves again after the city council contacted Google and had a bus route deleted online.

Local César Sánchez told that he has been campaigning for eight years for the council to address the problem: “The next thing we need to do is to get the whole of Park Güell removed from Google Maps.”

Another resident Luz López, 75, said: “Before, the bus was so full even people with walking sticks couldn’t get on.”

References to the No116 bus route have been deleted from the internet.

The city council arranged to have a bus route to the famous park removed from Google and Apple maps.
The city council arranged to have a bus route to the famous park removed from Google and Apple maps. Picture: Getty

A Google spokesman would only say they would not delete a bus route unless requested to do so by the local authority.

The No116 bus route only had 20-seater minibuses and it was nearly impossible to board as the region attracts nearly nine million people each year.

It is the latest example of steps being taken in Spain to deter holidaymakers.

British holidaymakers are threatening to boycott Spain over a new £97 daily rule coming into force. Tourists will now have to prove they have enough disposable cash (£97) for each day they are visiting the country.

The new rule applies to mainland Spain, as well as the Canary and Balearic Islands, all of which see millions of British tourists visit every year.

British tourists have slammed the rule change, with some suggesting a nationwide boycott.

Brits could boycott Spain over the new rule
Brits could boycott Spain over the new rule. Picture: Getty

"If the country would stand together and boycott Spain in favour of other Mediterranean countries, within three months they would be begging us to come back," they said.

"17 million visitors is a lot of money to the Spanish economy."

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A second person said: "Stop going they'll soon stop it. Simple. There's bags of other places, Greece, Turkey, Malta, Italy you name it."

A third added: "Another Mediterranean country tried to move away from tourism. They forgot how much tourism contributed to the economy."

Tourism in Spain is already under threat due to the ongoing drought crisis.

Private apartment complexes and residences have been banned from filling up their pools, with many AirBnB and rentals worried they will not be able to do so until after the summer.