Museums Exhibits

Stall owners in historic Spanish market calling for window-shopping tourist fee

If you don't want to pay, stay away.

If you don't want to pay, stay away.  (iStock)

Peeking into local shops is one of the best things about traveling but vendors in Valencia’s famed Central Market want to charge tourists for just browsing, claiming they hold up local customers who are there to purchase goods.

Nearly 400 stalls operate from Central Market, one Europe’s oldest marketplaces, according to the Daily Mail. The market itself features a variety of produce, aged goods like cheese and charcuterie and other Spanish delicacies. 

The building also features a beautiful dome constructed in the early 1900’s that has become a tourist destination in itself.

Although the market covers over 26,000 square feet of retail space, shop owners have complained that tourists clog passageways as they stop to take photos, reports the Daily Mail. Purveyors now want to impose an entry fee—similar to the recently instated charge used for access to public market toilets-- into the market to offset potential local patronage that is being lost among swelling tourist crowds.

“We know the market is a public building everyone can access but we also want the council to know we're receiving more and more complaints from our members and something has to be done,” Francisco Dasi of the Market traders' association told the Daily Mail.

“Tourist[sic] who arrive in large groups can cause problems for our regular customers. We believe asking the companies who bring these groups for a financial contribution could be looked at as an option."