Barcelona would seem like the perfect market for web-based collaborative consumption firms like Airbnb and Uber. Spain’s second city is a hip tourist destination with a large population of young foreigners and a burgeoning tech sector.
And up until now, it has been. Depending on the month, Barcelona is Airbnb’s third or fourth largest market, tied with London behind New York and Paris. And while Uber only entered the city in April, it was greeted with fanfare.
But Barcelona has become a headache for the popular residence and ride-sharing platforms, ground zero in a fight over how collaborative consumption should be regulated and taxed.