Barcelona is the city with the largest amount of tours for wine tourism offered in Spain. Its proximity to the Penedés area, the interest and curiosity for the elaboration of cava, and its own tourist attractions are enough reasons to explain why Barcelona is an important destination. Despite of this, that interest has been fading recently. Tourism decline is becoming quite clear, with the loss of about 6 million euros per day.
Motivated by an important slowdown in its sales to foreign tourists of wine tours across the city of Barcelona, Turismo de vino, a Spanish wine tourism portal, has conducted a detailed study to compare the impact it had on its activity, with the overall tourism in Barcelona.
“The report shows a significant negative impact of the political situation on the interest of travelers in the city of Barcelona. This impact has occurred after a period of growth in tourism activity in the previous years. In the last quarter of 2017, searches for flights to Barcelona fell by 4.37%, in comparison to 2016. This fall, if we take into account the upward trend of the first quarter of 2017, shows a real decrease of 16.58% due to the political situation,” experts explained.
Searches for accommodations, activities and tours in Barcelona have been equally affected by the tourism decline. The most prominent case being the tourist apartments, where it can be seen that for the first time, the city of Madrid has surpassed Barcelona in searches to find reservations for this type of tourist accommodation. The main reason of the decrease is the tourist’s fear for the safety of the capital.
“We were surprised to see that the impact of the attack in August was less than that of the sovereignty process. It seems that people are getting used to living with the horror of a terrorist attack, while the prolonged situation of a political crisis causes many people to believe that demonstrations, protests, or altercations can impact their expectations to enjoy their vacation time,” says Luis Lechuga, CEO of the Turismo de vino.
The report includes analysis of other tourist destinations such as Paris, London, Rome or Madrid, in which positive progress can be seen during the analyzed period. “It’s impossible to determine who the real winner is out of a situation like this one, because many destinations are getting a piece of this cake. There are many competing destinations and the hesitating tourist simply sets aside a destination that they consider risky or chooses another one in their list of places to visit,” explains the manager.
This report shows that the first quarter of 2018 has experienced a rise from the decrease suffered during the last quarter of 2017. The revival, however, is only halfway along the path to reach the previous growth. The negative impact has lost strength, but its effect has remained over time.