Not surprising to learn that 6 out of 10 dwellings in the Barrio Sant Cruz (my old ‘hood) are now tourist apartments. But it was a bit shocking to find out that it is the most tourist saturated neighbourhood IN SPAIN. And these stats are from 2019 so things are actually much worse now. I’ve been living in Museo for the past five years and even here new tourist apartment buildings – ENTIRE BUILDINGS – are popping up all over the place. Likewise new hotels. Everywhere.
You don’t need much of a brain to figure out that without neighbours there is no neighbourhood. That without neighbours the entire local infrastructure becomes geared to serving tourists, which is quite hideous. No more corner stores, fruit and veg shops, book shops, no more newsagents… small family run bars replaced by sleek and shiny corporate replicants. And instead crass commercialism abounds with tacky souvenir shops vying for space alongside mediocre tapas bars, the streets flooded with dazed tourists thinking they are experiencing the REAL DEAL. The irony of course being that the very thing they have come to see no longer exists and they don’t even know it. I still love Sevilla so much, but I also miss her.