The Agencia de Salud Pública de Barcelona has asked for the cooperation of residents in order to control and reduce the population of pigeons (article in Castilian, El Periodico). The number of pigeons in Barcelona has risen from 180,000 in 1991 to 256,000 in 2008—and in some areas, Ciutat Vella and the Eixample, that means 6,000 birds per square kilometre, some of the highest densities in Europe. The Agencia has asked residents to stop feeding the birds. Although it isn't illegal, it has found that fines for littering of up to €300 to €600 have not proved successful in curbing the habit of feeders.
Around 10,000 people went to pay tribute to Dani Jarque the captain of Espanyol football team, who died of a heart attack on Saturday (article in Castilian, El Mundo). The lobby of the football club has been turned into a place for a temporary vigil, filled with flags, and shirts, scarves and messages. The popular player suffered a heart attack whilst talking to his wife on the phone in a hotel in Florence where the club was on tour. Doctors tried to resuscitate him for over an hour but to no avail. At around 9pm on Sunday, fans held a two minute silence in tribute to their player.
In an attempt to attract last-minute guests, some of the top hotels in the city have put their prices at well below normal this summer (article in Castilian, El Periodico). Rates for some five-star hotels have fallen to as little as €100 a night in a bid to attract last-minute holidaymakers. July and August traditionally do not attract high numbers of guests due to the fall in business tourism but they have both seen a boom in sales in the last couple of years—however this year's financial crisis has resulted in a fall in leisure tourists as well. The current rates for hotels are a third cheaper than in 2008.
The Catalan Pyrenees are failing to draw tourists looking for Ecotourism holidays to observe the bears that have been introduced to the area (article in Castilian, La Vanguardia). Compared with other similar destinations with bear populations, the area attracts 40 percent less tourists. The areas of Val d'Aran and Alta Ribagorça Pallars are currently locked in pro- and anti-reintroduction battles that have hindered the number of tourists coming to the area to see the animals. Organisations such as Depana, a conservationist group, are campaigning to highlight and promote the bear and argue that it could "mark act as a quality mark, a symbol of a well preserved Pyrenees." Cantabria, Asturias, Sweden, Finland, Romania and Aragon have all had successful initiatives to promote the friendly face of the bear. Arguments against the bear from local authorities include Val d'Aran area who say that there is already sufficient numbers of visitors with skiing and hiking in summer but the pro-groups argue that because the bear sighting is possible for longer, after the skiing season finishes so the tourism could be deseasonalised.