tourism debt

Tourism: the false fix – concentration of profits and social debt

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This ODG research starts to look at the relationship of debt and financialisation with tourism, and how they act though this industry, that is deeply affecting life in cities (and other places) around the world.

This report aims to review the impacts of the tourism industry on the city of Barcelona, with an emphasis on social debt and concerns surrounding this urban means of production. Based on analysis of the connection between the expansion of the tourism industry and the workings of financial and real estate capitalism, the report reflects on the limits to growth of the tourism model, offers a brief review of current policy proposed at a municipal level, and proposes a several lines for action.

The second chapter presents the consolidation of the tourism model as a phenomenon connected to the development of capitalism in the Spanish state and to the transformation of the role of cities in the global economy.

The third chapter offers a preliminary analysis of the philosophy of accumulation which predominates in the tourism industry and reflects on its generation of public costs.

The fourth chapter presents data and arguments which demonstrate the impacts of tourism on employment, housing, social reproduction and care, generating a social debt and a care debt.

In the fifth chapter we synthesise the most relevant local-level policies for governing and mitigating the effects of tourism, and offer a reflection on the limits of the industry within the competence framework of local government.

Finally, in the sixth and last chapter, conclusions and recommendations are presented for continuing the discussion and implementing public policies and regulations which regulate tourism in a way which protects the city as a central space for social life and reproduction.


Author: Marta Ill Raga


With the support of:





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