Barcelona closed this summer tourist season with 2.9 million tourists staying in hotels and tourist apartments, 15% less than in 2019. When accumulated, the statistics reveal that tourism in Barcelona recorded 6.4 million visitors and almost 20 million overnight stays so far this year.
"We have had less tourism but of higher quality because spending has grown, more money has been earned with fewer tourists and more indefinite occupation has been created in the sector than ever," said the first deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni.
The average stay per person has extended to 5.3 nights, which is why hotel occupancy in August has been reduced by 3.9% compared to 2019, and Barcelona is positioned as the urban destination in Spain with the highest volume of stays, followed by Madrid (4.9) and Palma (3.7).
Eighty-four percent of tourism in Barcelona was international - with France as the top source market with more than 107,000 tourists, followed by the United States (70,000), the United Kingdom and Italy (with more than 54,000 tourists each) - and the 10% increase in domestic tourism, with 340,000 tourists, stands out.
In that sense, according to the Observatori de Turisme de Barcelona, it is estimated that tourists have spent 1.9 million euros during their stay in the city this summer (a figure that does not take into account the amount spent on accommodation or transport on arrival).
"A turning point is taking place that we hope will be maintained. It is the beginning of the path of what we intended from the Barcelona City Council: less quantity, more collection and more spending, and more income for companies and for the sector and more job creation", insisted Collboni.
Social Security affiliation in the hospitality sector in the province of Barcelona has grown by 11.5% year-on-year and this evolution has been favorable for indefinite contracts, since 47.5% of contracts have been indefinite (in 2019, 9.6% were).
Regarding unemployment, 6,274 people are out of work, which is 19% less than in the summer of 2019 and represents half that in the same period of 2020.
In the Port of Barcelona, 900,000 cruise passengers were accommodated, 19.6% less than in summer 2019, and of the total number of visitors, 61.2% traveled on cruise ships that had Barcelona as their home port.
Barcelona-El Prat Airport has registered 12.9 million passengers, 18.4% less than in 2019 (15.8 million), but close to twice as many as last summer (6,500,256).
On the other hand, the City Council has allocated in the last year EUR 6.7 million that come from the Tax on Stays in Tourist Establishments (IEET) to tourism development projects and the promotion of sports, gastronomic and cultural activities of relevance for the international projection of the city and attracting quality tourism.
In addition, the Government Commission has approved the allocation of more than two million euros from the IEET to tourism development projects that will be carried out for the international projection of the city.