The Barcelona Hotels Union reported that business tourism has been declining in recent years. Several factors would explain this significant decrease.
The hotel owners in Barcelona call for action. According to the statistics, the city is becoming less attractive to professionals. In 2014, business tourism accounted for 50% of hotel customers. In 2018, it was just 30%. The equilibrium has been disrupted.
According to experts, there are several reasons for this drop. First of all, the growing increase in tourism in Barcelona. There are more leisure tourists, so they are becoming more frequent than those who come for business. On the other hand, political instability and the August 2017 attack are also reported to have caused changes in the business tourism sector. Barcelona is not so much a preferred destination.
The hotel owners are worried because customers who travel to the Catalan capital on business have a high purchasing power. Several sectors are impacted by the drop in these tourists, hotels, but also restaurants and shops. Moreover, professionals always stay in hotels, they do not turn to other tourist accommodation facilities. Unlike holidaymakers who do not hesitate to choose apartments. Maintaining professional customers is essential for Barcelona's hoteliers. It is also for this reason that the hotel owners talk about the reduction, they pay taxes to the city, hotel establishments will not be able to support a significant decrease in attendance.
Yet, the union director says that hotels do their best to take care of their guests. The institutions also do their utmost to ensure that companies choose them to hold their meetings there. However, the outlook for 2019 would be rather positive. It is not clear whether the share of business tourism will get 50% back up, but the figures seem stable.