Barcelona World Complex, Catalonia, Spain


“Barcelona World” is a development project complex of hotels, mega-casino and leisure centres. According to Suau-Sanchez et al. (2012), the project consists of six hotels with 12,000 beds, shopping centres, theatres, convention centres and other associated services, as well as casinos; it covers an area of 445 hectares between the Port Aventura theme park and the towns of Vila‐Seca and Salou. The investment will be of €4,775 million leaded by the Veremonte Group.

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Basic Data
NameBarcelona World Complex, Catalonia, Spain
ProvinceTarragona, Catalonia
SiteSalou, Vila-Seca
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Tourism Recreation
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Urban development conflicts
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Specific CommoditiesTourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project Details6 Casinos

12,000 hotel seats

5,000 luxury apartments

Other facilities still to concrete including offices, malls and convention centres.
Project Area (in hectares)825
Level of Investment (in USD)6,186,616,796
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date07/09/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesVeremonte Group from United Kingdom
Value Retail from United Kingdom - Investor
Melco Crown Entertaiment from Cayman Islands - Investor
Melià Hotels from Spain - Investor
Investindustrial from Luxembourg - Investor
Relevant government actorsGeneralitat de Catalunya (Autonomous region government).

Local Governments.
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAturem Barcelona World

GEPEC (grup d'estudi i protecció dels ecosistemes catalans)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Media based activism/alternative media
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
OtherGambling addiction
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew legislation
Development of AlternativesThe promotion of a more ethical tourism in consideration of nature and society
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.It is not possible to assess because the works have not yet started, the project has not been dropped.
Sources and Materials

Llei 2/1989 de 16 de febrer de Centres Recreatius Turístics
[click to view]

Decret 328/1992, de 14 de desembre, pel qual s'aprova el Pla d'espais d'interès natural
[click to view]


Suau-Sanchez, P., Arias, A., Marti i Costa, M., Recio, A., Pybus Oliveras, M., & Serracant Camps, M. (2012). Learning from Las Vegas: debunking some myths about the gambling-urban economy. P3T. Public policies and territory, 1(3).

Golda-Pongratz, K. (2013). Landscapes of pressure, landscapes of standstill. RC21 Conference, Humboldt University Berlin


Project official website
[click to view]

News in "El Pais" newspaper
[click to view]

Supplement produced by the alternative journal "La Directa" (in Catalan)
[click to view]

Description of the project by Observatori de projectes i debats territorials de Catalunya
[click to view]

Other Documents

Stop BCN World Public presentation of the campaign against the macro-complex
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorAlfred Burballa-Noria
Last update10/10/2014