International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TOURISM, TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY LAW the idea that we have to stop being a country that bases its economy on tourism, which does not imply leaving aside or advancing in other economic activities. But it would be a mistake, I insist on the idea, not to take advantage of the special geographical, climatological and social circumstances that we have in Spain. But we need to be more competitive, and this implies, as I understand it, betting on quality tourism and, inevitably, using the legal instruments at our disposal to limit certain types of tourist offer that conflict with that quality and that generates, as I have already indicated, certain social problems. 2.2. – Overcrowding and congestion: a breeding ground for “tourism-phobia” The uncontrolled growth referred to in the previous section led, logically, to the overcrowding of certain destinations, especially sun and beach destinations, and to the congestion of public services, which led to social tensions in certain destinations. This is nothing new. Since the middle of the last century, the tourist “boom” of developmentalism, we have experienced moments of great tourist pressure that the respective competent public authorities have failed, or with little success, to tackle. Before the Pandemic, there were certain places where the increase in tourist demand had led the competent authorities to limit, as far as legally possible, the increase in tourists. Cities such as Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and, in general, cities on the Mediterranean coast were beginning to be saturated with visitors who, in addition, were consuming low-quality tourism, i.e. short, cheap stays, in short, what Decree-Law 1/2020 of 17 January of the Balearic Islands has rightly come to refer to as “tourism of excess”13. The essential issue in the face of these problems lies, in my opinion, in the policies that many public administrations have implemented in order not to 13 ROMERO PADILLA, M., ROMERO MARTÍNEZ, J. M.ª. y NAVARRO JURADO, E., (2020) “Reflexiones desde el post crecimiento: ideas, estrategias y tácticas para el turismo post-COVID-19” in Turismo post-COVID-19. El turismo después de la pandemia global. Análisis, perspectivas y vías de recuperación, BAUZÁ MARTORELL F. J., y MELGOSA ARCOS, F. J. (dir.), RONDÓN GARCÍA, L. M., TROITIÑO TORRALBA, L. y MULET FORTEZA, C. (coord..), AECIT, p. 4, “In Spain, the weight of tourism is even greater (12.3% of GDP and 12.7% of employment). This weight has a bearing on the degree of dependence that the Spanish economic structure has on the tourism-real estate dynamic, which has been reinforced in recent years as it has been stimulated as a way out of the 2008 financial crisis. Destinations have grown by promoting the construction and development of more accommodation, facilities and infrastructure. The result is a model of mass tourism, which Spain already had, but now with a low-cost format, precarious employment, a boom in the supply of low-cost accommodation (tourist accommodation, hostels, etc.), etc. This model has generated for the first time in Spain two critical positions in the local population with respect to tourism: rejection of tourism (tourism-phobia and urbanophilia, in Barcelona or Palma de Mallorca) or social movements against the overcrowding and touristification of public spaces, not rejecting tourism, but denouncing that the positive impacts are insufficient compared to the negative ones (for example, in Malaga, Madrid, Valencia) (Navarro-Jurado et. al. 2019).