What’s happened to Madrid?

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of GarySFBCN GarySFBCN 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #57823
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
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    Three recent articles:

    1. The decadence of Madrid Paints a not so pretty picture of Madrid’s problems.

    http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/10/09/inenglish/1381325756_737127.html

    2. Madrid tourism figures plummet Discusses the overall drop in tourism in Madrid, even though tourism is up in Spain. Officials blame it upon fewer flights to Madrid, but I think it is really due to low passenger demand for flights.

    http://www.thelocal.es/20131013/madrid-tourism-figures-plummet

    3. Catalonia tops tourist tables in bumper summer (for contrast) “A record 8.3 million foreign tourists flocked to Spain in August, with Catalonia their top choice of destination, the Spanish government said on Monday. It was the highest monthly number of foreign tourists to Spain since current records began in 1995 and 7.1 percent higher than August last year, the tourism ministry said in a statement.” I should add that I had friends visit me in Barcelona in September and they were amazed at the infrastructure, how clean and prompt public transport was, etc, and they are planning to return next year.

    http://www.thelocal.es/20130923/catalonia-tops-tourist-tables-in-bumper-summer

    So my question is – what’s going on in Madrid? It is a lovely city with spectacular museums and great cultural events. It wasn’t to my taste for relocation as it wasn’t near the sea and it appeared to me to have greater “classism” between the economic classes and with immigrants, but I suppose that is the case with most capital cities.

  • #118458
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    I wouldn’t believe half of that story based on the picture mis-representations – which is a shame because certain parts of the story merit discussion.
    For example the rubbish-strewn Plaza Mayor: On another forum someone was there that day (when the Danish football fans caused all that rubbish), and apparently a team of cleaners moved in half a hour after the fans had moved on. So it was a complete distortion of the truth picture – and I pass through the Plaza Mayor at least a couple of times a week and I can assure you they keep it nice and clean. The real problem in Madrid (and has been for years) is graffiti in several barrios.
    As for internal flight numbers being down – no wonder as the AVE system are recording a 20% rise in passenger numbers this year, after the introduction of cheaper fare structures. Edit: There has been a reduction in cheap flights coming to Madrid – Ryanair and Easyjet have cut numbers due to what they claim are excessive airport charges, but they both still operate into Madrid (I believe). It’s also a city for business and conferences though – last week the Spain startup summit took place in Madrid, and the Book conference was also held here. There are reports that barajas will attempt to get more cheap operators back, but that remains to be seen.
    The empty tourist bus picture – they must have really struggled to get that picture, perhaps they got up at 9am to take it? I’ve been looking at the tourist bus as a result over the last week, and the only time I saw it half-empty was yesterday around 12. Not that I expect it to remain full, the nights are getting colder here, and even the day time felt a bit chilly yesterday..
    This last weekend and the central areas of Madrid were packed, with Spanish, Italians, Russians, Americans, Brits etc.
    If anyone thinks I’m making this up they are welcome to visit Madrid and walk around central areas like Sol, Plaza Santa Ana, Calle Mayor & Arenal, Gran Via in the evening, and see the crowds around, and bars, restaurants and shops full of people.
    And if you put that down to just tourists, you can go to gentrifying barrios like Lavapies and (especially) Malasaña, and see vibrant areas full of new, quirky and innovative shops and bars. Hard to believe there is a crisis if you walk around there.. Obviously it will be different in outlying barrios, but reports of Madrid’s demise are, I’m glad to say, very much exaggerated. 🙄

  • #118466
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    The empty tourist bus picture – they must have really struggled to get that picture, perhaps they got up at 9am to take it? I’ve been looking at the tourist bus as a result over the last week, and the only time I saw it half-empty was yesterday around 12. Not that I expect it to remain full, the nights are getting colder here, and even the day time felt a bit chilly yesterday..

    The point is that, according to the article, tourism in Madrid is down 22% from last year, regardless of the underlying cause. That and tourism has increased for Spain.

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