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It was during the Olympics that Europe’s economy was in recession, which didn’t affect Barcelona in the early 1990s due to the revenues of The Games, but later the economic slip started to settle in the city in a rather fast pace. The transition from an industry-based economy to a service-based economy had left the city with a surplus supply condition, meaning that the preparation for The Olympics created a perfect scenario for a continuous high flow of tourists, but the reality was that after the event, the overwhelming number of hotels and service-related businesses were not doing well due to the low occupancy rates. The unemployment levels rose during those times especially for the young, who now had to depend on their parents for longer.
The combination of the international recession and the post games work situation created a doubtful environment locally and nationally as to whether this economic shift should keep developing further. Additionally, given that the preparation for the Olympics signified the construction of numerous facilities, the architecture and related segments found themselves short of work the following years, with almost no space to create new projects as the city was already over-expanding its urban sprawl (Rowe, 2006). These situations combined showed that the plan towards the service-based economic model had to continue, given that the infrastructure for the matter was already built (only a few projects were still under construction) and it only needed a newly developed plan that would put them in constant activity. As an answer to the surplus supply and in favour of the new economic model, the plan for a new tourism promotion model came about in 1993.
This plan consisted in attracting new visitors that were not related with the business tourist segment (fairs and congresses), which would attract a constant flow of tourists to the city and would put the built infrastructure of the Games in use again. In this plan, tourism companies were for the first time given the chance to participate in the promotion process, and the Turisme de Barcelona organization was created by the City Council in replacement of the Municipal Tourism Board, which would then on take care of the tourism-related matters of the city. These instances aimed to make tourism one of the most important sources of revenue by transforming Barcelona into a touristic icon around the world (AB, BA, 2014).
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