Tourism and Community Development: Through The Eyes of Barcelona Immigrant

Hello my lovely people,

since I'm living in Barcelona, the place where tourism has expanded so much that you barely can meet a Catalan person in the capital of Catalonia, it made me think how much influence does tourism have for Catalan community?
When I was trying to come up with any good reason how tourism might help develop Catalan community I couldn't think about any except that foreigners actually do know that Catalonia wants to separate from Spain, but I never heard it from any Catalan person (maybe because I met 3 of them during my stay here which is in total around 3 months already counting last year and my come back). It looks like local people are hiding somewhere from foreigners and they will never reveal the secret WHERE.
On the way to Park Guell
Here in Barcelona everybody speaks English. There is basically no chance to speak Spanish here even though I came for this very reason. I live with four English girls (sorry, 3 English and 1 Irish) and I work with tourists from all around the world so I use English literally all the time. This is such an international city that it already became the capital of foreigners, not the capital of Catalonia. That is absolutely fun for us, people who come here looking for adventures, love and beauty, but I doubt that local people think alike. Also rumors has it that Catalans speak only Catalan but that is a total lie. I know that Antonio Gaudi the great architect was a big fan of Catalonia and once when he was stopped by a police he refused to speak Spanish and answered only Catalan until he was arrested by the police. I haven't met any that stubborn Catalan yet here. So what if Catalans separate from the rest of Spain? I think that 2 things would happen: 1st Spain would be even more in crisis because they would have to say bye bye to all the money that tourists bring them and 2nd Barcelona would become a separate country of all possible nationalities. All in all, I highly doubt that it would help the community to prosper since the city would probably officially become the first very INTERNATIONAL city where there's no one language. I'm very sorry for Catalans who have been through a lot of hard times, but that's only my opinion which may be changed after setting up restrictions for foreigners to enter the new land  - Catalonia.
Meanwhile in Vilnius, Lithuania, my home country where I spent almost my whole life, tourism opened Lithuanians' eyes and mind a lot!

When foreign students started coming to Lithuania to do exchange it was probably the first tourism boom that happened in Vilnius so here's what happened with Lithuanians:
1. They started practicing their English
2. Since a lot of Lithuanians found boyfriends and girlfriends from different countries, they learned a lot about other cultures
3. Started travelling in order to see their lovers (just joking, started traveling because it makes you free!)
4. Vilnius finally became European city full of stylish young people. We no longer feel shame to go abroad and be laughed at our "Russian" style outfits, etc.
All in all I think that tourism gave a lot of European culture to Lithuania (even though sill only few people know where it is).

That's basically how I look tourism and community development in different parts of Europe. I don't know how right I am and, anyways, I damn love to travel and make tourism prosper no matter what!

Peace,
Sarune



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