Towns in Italy and Spain announce tourist bans for very different reasons

Two European tourist locations popular with UK holidaymakers have banned tourism within days of each other. BirminghamLive reported earlier how the Barcelona mayor was stopping short-term lets to tourists because of housing concerns.

It follows much-publicised pressure in tourist hotspots like Tenerife and Lanzarote. Now, the mayor of Capri in Italy has put a ban on tourists for another reason.

Mayor Paolo Falco, has declared a water emergency on the famed Italian island, leading to an unprecedented move to stop tourists from arriving due to a crisis that has left some areas completely without water.

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Falco explained that the lack of water supply makes it impossible to provide essential services to "thousands of people" who flock to the island daily during peak tourist times. He added: "The health and hygiene situation is explosive, we have taken our countermeasures and activated the crisis unit and issued a restrictive order."

With the mainland supply cut off, the island is relying solely on its local reservoirs, which are at risk of depleting. To mitigate the situation, tanks are being sent to the island to ensure essential services can continue while efforts are made to restore the full water supply.

The mayor's directive was issued just after 9am local time, immediately halting ticket sales for travel to the island. Whereas there are hopes Capri will be able to manage this eventually, the Barcelona tourism issues seem more deep-seated.

According to Barcelona's Tourism Observatory, the Catalan capital welcomed 16 million tourists in 2016. Barcelona Mayor Jaume Collboni announced on Friday that the City of Counts will revoke the licences of the 10,101 apartments currently approved for short-term rentals by November 2028.

He added: "We want to guarantee the right to live in Barcelona and deal effectively with the housing crisis we have been suffering for years. For this reason, from the city council, we act: No tourist flat in Barcelona. We will recover the current 10,101 ... homes... We improve the 30 per cent rule to make the promotion of affordable housing in the city effective. Administration, society and the real estate sector must join forces to protect the right to housing."

Spain's Socialist Housing Minister Isabel Rodriguez backed the move, saying: "This is what it is about making all the necessary efforts to guarantee access to decent and affordable housing. You have my full support in this task. Barcelona will eliminate the city's tourist apartments in five years."