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ISE: Barcelona Bans Airbnb

A bombshell for Barcelona – from now on, Airbnb licenses will no longer be renewed. By the end of 2028, the last Airbnbs will have disappeared from the market. ISE visitors will have to look for alternatives in the coming years.

Barcelona has declared war on Airbnb and other vacation rental platforms. The newly elected socialist mayor Jaume Collboni wants to let the more than 10,000 licenses for vacation rentals expire by November 2028. A construction freeze on new hotels has already been in place in the city center for several years.

The ISE capital is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world and is particularly affected by overtourism in summer. One reason why the two largest trade fairs – ISE and MWC – take place in winter. The most loved May-edition of ISE 2022 was a once-in-your lifetime exception.

Four of the ten visitor stay at Airbnb in Barcelona

As in other tourist hotspots such as Madrid, Rome or Lisbon, due to apartments used for tourists, rents have risen by 50% or more in recent years, meaning that many locals cannot afford accommodation close to the city center anymore.

Since moving to Barcelona, ​​ISE has been working with the hotel network Bnetwork, which has large exclusive quotas with many hotels in Barcelona for ISE exhibitors and visitors during ISE. This has so far made it possible to avoid highly inflated trade fair room rates like around other tradeshows and events.

But the continuous growth of ISE will not make the room situation any easier in the coming years, especially when 10,000 apartments with a market share of 40%  are lost in the medium term.