As you may imagine, the current travel trends are not the same than those which existed 10-15 years ago. Many things have changed, including but not limiting to travellers’ interests. In order to commit with the UNWTO‘s (United Nations World Tourism Organization) goals, we developed a series of sustainable tours in Barcelona that will offer you a quirky point of view from the Catalan capital city. All of it done through alternative experiences for all audiences.
Please take into consideration that the activities offered by Cooltourspain’s team members hit at some point any of the following global targets. Our team of experts, art historians and official guides is worried about the problems that affect our daily life situations, thinking about yours too. Thus our professional tour leaders will share them with you during the guided visits. Women’s development, climate action and tourism code of ethics are among the focused topics.
- Reasons to participate
- Examples of sustainability in Madrid city
How do our services fit under the tag ‘sustainable tours in Barcelona’?
Cooltourspain was born in 2016 with a clear idea, solving the negative touristic effects that exists among the cultural services in Catalunya by offering not overcrowded experiences, aimed in graffiti, street art and feminism, among others. Moreover, the sustainable tours in Barcelona try putting the local citizens as a priority. In that sense, our professional guides talk about people’s worries and how do they affect them in 2023.
In order to reach part of the 17 Goals that would transform our world, we aim to collaborate with two tourism boards, Barcelona Convention Bureau, the official organism in the city, and Spain.info, the national one. On the one hand, the environmental resources we found in the streets remain unmodified, as we walk and cycle over recycled vehicles. Thus conserving the city’s heritage. Secondly, we respect the socio-cultural authenticity of the host communities, mostly around Born, Gotic and Poble Nou neighborhoods. Lastly, we ensure socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders within the visited areas.
Taking all these considerations into account, we will now show you clear examples of what we passinately do. At the beginning, we launched the weekend activities as a hobbie, but after analyzing guests’ commentaries on the internet, we came into a conclussion that we had to offer them daily. We’re local experts interested in meeting people from all over the world. Let us guide you along one of the most multicultural cities in Spain, whether it’s in English, Spanish, Catalan or French.
Guided visits which are responsibly sensible to the gentrification process, specially with cruises’ groups
Have you ever heard about the term ‘gentrification’? While most of our guests are familiar with this socioeconomic change, some people are still unaware about its’ effects. The leaders in our sustainable tours in Barcelona define the term as the process whereby the character of a poor urban area is changed by wealthier people moving in, improving housing, and attracting new businesses, often displacing current inhabitants in the process. More specifically, affecting downtown districts such as those in Ciutat Vella: Barceloneta, Gòtic, Raval, Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and Ribera.
We even mention the PAH platform (article in Spanish language), a protesting movement which visibilizes the evictions suffered by low socio-economic neighbors through monthly organized protests. Furthermore, we avoid offering street art tours for groups with a higher ratio than 15 or 18 customers per guide. Cooltourspain also rejects the use of microphones and speakers. We pretend to be walking with our friends around these multicolor and multicultural districts. We definitely commit to sustainability with the tourism field.
Despite our efforts, it’s a fact that some people are against us, and it’s not the first time that we have faced an unfortunate sitution. For instance, there has been at least 5 occassions when local neighbors have shouted at us “F*** tourists, go home!” Even after invinting them to join us and listen to our stories, they still think that we practice a kind of tourism that doesn’t respect the local communities.
Sustainable tours in Barcelona for all audiences
Whether you are a young adult interested in discovering the city alternatively, or teenager studying art at school, or a Fine Arts university student at UB, our sustainable tours in Barcelona will surprise you from the very first moment you join us. Let us inform you that we’re not regular professional guides. Our main range of action is not set over the history from the XI-XVII centuries’ history. Our speech focuses on the XXI century aspects, and how we want to develop our future world.
The information is brought to you in a friendly way, paying respect to all communities. Not only do we address the problems, but we will also offer you details about how are locals trying to reverse the situation. Furthermore, our guided visits have been developed after a research focused on Barcelona’s neighbors. What are the problems that they face daily compared to yours? Are there any social networks that offer help and support to the less favored ones?
We’ve even received the visit of retired adults, people from 75 years old onwards who want to discover something new. It’s thanks to the explanation we do about graffiti that they learn new codes of conduct among the youth. As part of the street art community, our mission is to show our knowledge to others. Education comes first. Please note that this is what we consider as a ‘free tour’, not the ones that ask you for tips. Our job is developed voluntarily.
Alternative experiences which address the socio-cultural problems of our times
To us, the sustainable tours in Barcelona mean a lot. The main reason is because we use part of our revenue to develop these activities in the form of a volunteering project, that called Cooltourspain’s Foundation. That means not charging for our services to people who need help. At all. So who is the targeted audience? We work with vulnerable groups of residents who may not have the same economic resources as you to pay for our regular walking activities. We love sharing our time with them!
Imagine yourself in the shoes of a lesbian, gay, refugee, moroccan or latinamerican, or african-american Do you think any of these collectives have ever suffered from discrimination or intolerance? Unfortunately, still up to date we observe in the news violent acts against them. Their sexual beliefs, country of origin or religion might be different than ours, but they are the same. That’s why we say that our services are socially responsible.
In order to integrate others in our society we use different languages to break the linguistic barrier. If our guests don’t understand Spanish, we’re able to lead the activities in English or French. Please take into consideration that art is a language itself, you may analyze it, discover its benefits and enjoy from the differences.
Why are the sustainable tours in Barcelona offered by professional graffiti and street art artists?
As you may have read in the previous paragraphs, our sustainable tours in Barcelona were born to decentralize the touristic industry in town. They were created by Javier Garcia, a young entrepreneur who had the idea of offering these alternative experiences, after developing the same project in Madrid. He currently lives in Blanes (Girona). A 1.5 train commute from the Catalan capital city.
It was after observing travellers’ interest in his tours that he decided to start collaborating with local art professionals: urban artists, graffiti writers, photographers…
Thanks to their commitment towards developing a 5 stars activities, guests who previously joined them have filled the internet with their commentaries on platforms such as Tripadvisor, Civitatis, Get Your Guide or Airbnb. If our guided visits focused on graffiti and street art, would there be any better professional to lead them than emergent local artists and entrepreneurs?
If you were surfing over our street art blog, you shold have noticed that we specialize on all forms of modern art. Our articles talk about styles, techniques, the movements’ characteristics and the most fun part of all of it, how to start producing your own artworks. Furthermore, those who purchased the live experience will receive the opportunity to spray paint. Do you prefer on an A3 sized paper or a 100% cotton tote bag?
Local perspective to the current local, regional and the Spanish contemporary art movement
From time to time, our sustainable tours in Barcelona offer the opportunity to meet & greet the artists who are painting live in the streets. We want to hear the guests voices, as well as the writers’ ones, and the frequent challenges they face, whether they are social or economic. Apart from that, it’s a great experience for our guests as they are able to ask them directly. What would you be interested in getting to know from their artistic career?
Taking into account that there are many artists around the country, and only a few percentage of them make it to the “first league”, it would be interesting to hear their voices speak up about the problems. For instance, how many Spanish classic artists would you be able to recall? Goya, Velazquez, Picasso, Dalí, Miró…and the list could continue. However, how many of the mentioned ones were women? That’s exactly what happens during our tours, and we wisely use our time to talk about the lack of equity that still exists today.
On the other hand, there exists a local project which is called Open Walls, that allows artists to paint in the streets without the worriness about being caught by policer officers. We could assure that some of our friends are happy to participate at them. However, they also complain about the conditions. Why? Not all of them receive a wage for their skills, and sometimes the materials they receive for painting purposes is not enough. Have you ever heard about the expression “for the love of art”?
Sustainable tours in Barcelona which include a live graffiti experience
Now that you know the content that we speak about during our sustainable tours in Barcelona, you should also take into account that the experiences includes a hands on activity. Why do we do that? It’s simple! To engage them more. By the time you offer your audience something to practice with, rather than just listening and observing, they will remember it forever. A unique guided visit developed by professional graffiti artists, who will show you the techniques used in graffiti and street art.
In order to complete the 2 hours walking tour, we’ve added a stop at MACBA, the cities’ contemporary art museum. It’s an outdoors spot, known by many skaters, which features an area for this artsy event. Depending on the group’s size, it will take you between 10-20 minutes to perform on the surfaces we’ve prepared for you. The idea is to stop listening and observing for a while, in order to start creating on your own. We’ll provide you with the stencil and spray cans, then you’ll create a design.
From this day on, you’ll be able to create your own personalized stencil with photoshop. Eventhough it’s very simple, the difficulty comes with the stencil process. We’ll show you how to use the box cutter. Lastly, you’ll learn different techniques to color with 3D letters and fading. Use the slogan as you prefer! There is no wrong choice, just trying and having fun.
Speaking up about feminism!
Last but not least, feminism is part of our core values. We are sensible women and men who are totally against any kind of domestic violence, gender inequity, and unjustice labor conditions. Our sustainable tours in Barcelona are directly involved with community support. We fight for people’s rights and so, we offer our guests the opportunity to hear the stories about those women who became pioneers in their fields. For instance, Clara Campoamor, Rigoberta Menchú or Rosa Parks.
According to our guests’ reviews, they would have never discovered these areas in town if it wasn’t because of the life & death of these women. It’s true that the majority of visitors walk around Santa Eulalia cathedral, Boqueria market or Mercado Santa Caterina, but not many of them are interested in hearing the information about important female figures. We’ll introduce them to the real Barcelona and its people’s lifestyle. Interested in learning which are the most relevant spots for the feminist movement in town?
Cooltourspain’s opinion about the sustainable tours in Barcelona
We believe that there is room for an updated way to practice responsible tourism. It’s very important for any sustainable tours in Barcelona to follow the ideas presented to you today. Do you agree? If you belong to an NGO or a social organization, please contact us. Just fill in the next form to receive further details. Alternatively, you can contact us via whatsapp at +34638399784 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org