Pretty Spanish town celebrates being wiped off Google Maps after overtourism chaos

Samantha Parker By Samantha Parker Jun7,2024

A Spanish neighbourhood has come up with a unique way of handling overtourism – deleting themselves from the map. The Spanish suburb of La Salut, minutes away from Barcelona, had long complained about the impact of overcrowded tourism.

Every year approximately 9 million tourists flock to Park Güell, an architectural marvel in La Salut.

The park was designed like a fairytale village by renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, who famously designed Barcelona’s Sagrada Família. Guell, which was opened as a public park in 1926, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

The park remains the second most popular attraction in Catalonia after the Sagrada Basilica. It features a cluster of mosaic-covered buildings, staircases and public squares.

Visitors also show up in the neighbourhood for renowned tapas bars and seafood restaurants.

However, a campaign to erase the 116 bus route between Barcelona’s city centre and La Salut has finally succeeded, sparking hopes that tourist numbers will also dwindle.

Elderly residents complained that they were unable to get home using public transport since the 20-seater minibus was always packed with tourists.

The city council has now arranged with Google and Apple to have the bus route deleted from the online platforms.

Local César Sánchez had spent eight years lobbying the council to address the overtourism problem in the tiny hilltop suburb.

Mr Sánchez said: “We laughed at the idea at first. We’re amazed that the measure has been so effective.”

He joked: “The next thing we need to do is to get the whole of Park Güell removed from Google Maps.”

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

A Google spokesman said they would only delete a bus route if requested to do so by the local authority.

Barcelona itself has long struggled to cope with the overwhelming tourist arrivals.

This month, Barcelona became the latest European city to increase its city-wide tourist tax to 3.25 euros (£2.78) per night as the city seeks to curb overtourism.

Samantha Parker

By Samantha Parker

Samantha is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth behind the headlines. With years of experience in investigative reporting, she has covered a wide range of topics including politics, crime, and entertainment. Her in-depth analysis and commitment to factual accuracy make her a respected voice in the field of journalism.

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2 thoughts on “Pretty Spanish town celebrates being wiped off Google Maps after overtourism chaos”
  1. Absolutely brilliant! This shows that communities can take action and make a real difference in managing overtourism. It’s great to see a unique approach like this being successful in preserving the local charm and culture of La Salut. Kudos to the residents and Mr. Sánchez for their dedication and creativity in tackling this issue.

  2. As a resident of Barcelona, I believe that the decision to erase the bus route from La Salut on Google Maps is a bold but necessary step to combat overtourism. It’s time we prioritize the well-being of the local community over the influx of tourists. Kudos to César Sánchez for his dedicated efforts!

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