Barcelona tourists exploit ‘genius’ gym loophole

Barcelona tourists exploit ‘genius’ gym loophole

The Catalan government is ‘outraged’ at freeloading gym tourists who are using are using Barcelona’s gyms without paying membership fees.

For a single flat charge, the new Squat App gives visitors to the city a choice of modern gyms to use during their stay — something that officials are worried could scupper government plans to introduce a Fitness Tax in 2019.

€7.99 per session

It’s thought the new tax would work in a similar way to the Catalonia Tourist Tax of 2012, with charges of up to €5 every time a tourist uses a hotel gym or private fitness centre, on top of the usual sign up fees.

Just like the Tourist Tax helps pay for clean beaches, better roads and the organisation of festivals in tourist areas, the Fitness Tax would pave the way for better fitness facilities in public parks and beaches.

A government source said: “Last year, the region welcomed 17.4 million foreign tourists, and people aren’t just coming to eat tapas, drink Sangria and lie on our beaches anymore.

“The world is getting fitter, and with 1 in 7 people now going to the gym, the new Fitness Tax would help us turn Catalonia into Europe’s health and wellness capital.”

Just like my gym at home

Events Manager Mike McAllister makes four business trips from the UK to Spain every month. He said: “The gyms in the hotels I stay at are just pathetic. They’re overcrowded, they’ve never got many weights and the machines are often out of order. I end up skipping sessions and going straight to the bar.

“That was before I downloaded the Squat App. Now, I just open the app on my phone, search for a gym near my hotel, then go and do a workout just like at home. No sign-up fees, no broken equipment, no hassle. It’s genius.”

Squat is the first app of its kind that gives access to multiple gyms without paying a registration fee — there’s just a single low, flat charge, and no hidden fees.

It’s ideal for people travelling for business, jet-setting entrepreneurs and regular travellers who like to stay in shape on the move at a modern gym.

Download Squat today

Gyms access around the world from €7.99