In 2019, the tourist activity employed 1 out of 10 people in Destination Barcelona

27/10/2021 - 11:00h

The Tourism Observatory in Barcelona publishes the Job Market and Salaries of the Tourist Activity in Destination Barcelona 2019 results report

At the end of 2019, just before the beginning of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourist activity employed 1 out of 10 people in Destination Barcelona, although in Barcelona city, its weight was slightly higher (12.2%) than in Barcelona region (8.0%).

Despite the importance of the tourist activity in the economy as a whole, the average salary was around €21,000 per person, 27.5% below the rest of the activities in Destination Barcelona.

Likewise, the tourist activity concentrated a higher percentage of employees with salaries under €1,000 per month (49.4%) than the rest of activities (31.7%), particularly in Barcelona region, where more than half of the employment in tourism obtained an average remuneration below this amount.

By type of activity, food and beverage services, which occupied almost half of tourism employees (47.6%), was the activity with the lowest average salary (€16,137), while transport in tourism, the highest salaries (€34,213).

As for the geographical areas, the average salaries in Barcelona region (€19,789) were lower than in Barcelona city (€22,272), where differences were also observed between residents of the different districts: while in Les Corts, the average income of the tourist staff reached €27,934, in Ciutat Vella, it was €18,459.

2 out of 3 people working in the tourist activity were women, which received the lowest salaries (€18,423). Activities with lower wages tended to show a smaller gender wage gap.

Foreign workers, which represented 1 out of 3 of the tourism workers, were part of another group with the lowest salaries (€18,347 in Barcelona city), as in other economic activities.

Another fact that was observed, in both cases, in the tourism activity and in the other activities, was a greater competitiveness of the average wage in indefinite contracts (€23,667) and in the medium and large companies (€30,765). The salaries of people working in tourism also increased with the age, a higher education level, and a higher professional category.

Nonetheless, it is worth noting differences between the tourism activity and other activities such as the higher proportion of employees under 45 (68.9% in tourism vs. 59.4% in other activities), while those with high school or higher education were less (53.5% in tourism vs. 68.8% in other activities).

In addition, the proportion of administrative assistants (68.3%) was higher than in the rest of activities (41.8%), at the expense of the administrative heads (28.8%), and especially, of the senior managers (3.0%), the proportion of which was five times lower than in the other economic activities.


The Observatory of Tourism in Barcelona: city and region presents, for the first time, an analysis of the salaries of tourist activity in Destination Barcelona. This analysis, which can be consulted in the Job Market and Salaries of the Tourist Activity in Destination Barcelona 2019 results report, has taken into account three geographical levels (Barcelona city, Barcelona region and Destination Barcelona), as well as several variables: sex, age, nationality, professional category, education level, type of contract, length of the working day and workplace size.


More information: Job Market and Salaries of the Tourist Activity in Destination Barcelona 2019. Results report


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