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27.3% of bank card spending in Barcelona city in May was international

02/07/2024 - 12:00h

The latest tourism activity data in Destination Barcelona have been updated - May 2024 edition

The Barcelona Tourism Observatory: city and region, presents the monthly analysis of the main tourism activity monitoring indicators.

The main conclusions of the May update are presented below by geographical area:


Barcelona city

  • Hotels and guesthouses supply accounted for 684 establishments and almost 87,000 available beds. This means almost the same number of beds compared to the previous month, but more than last year (+1.6% Var. 24/23).
  • Due to the seasonality of tourism, both the number of tourists and overnight stays in hotels and guesthouses grew month-on-month. However, despite the number of tourists in homes for tourist use (HTUs) increased, overnights in this kind of accommodation fell by 5.8%. In any case, the sum of overnight stays in these two types of accommodation was +4.1% year-on-year
  • In May, HTUs recorded a shorter length of stay than in the previous month (from 4.3 to 4.0 nights), while in hotels and guesthouses, the length of stay remained at 2.6 nights. However, occupancy in the latter type of accommodation was above 75% (+2.8pp month-on-month), while in HTUs, for the second consecutive month, it decreased to 55% (-5.3pp month-on-month).
  • At Barcelona Airport, almost 5 million movements of passengers were recorded (+8.5% month-on-month), well ahead of the same period of 2023 (+12.8% Var. 24/23 in passengers). The ranking of countries from which passengers flew to Barcelona Airport during this month was leaded by domestic flight passengers. Passengers flying from Italy ranked second, followed by passengers travelling from the United Kingdom, and France.
  • In Port of Barcelona, 440,000 cruise passengers were registered, meaning almost +60% month-on-month, due to the growth in the cruise ship supply. However, this figures were quite similar to May 2023 (+0.8%). On the other hand, ferry passenger movements, about 117,000, were behind last month (-0,7%), but ahead of last year (+1.6% Var. 24/23).
  • In May, the ICUB's cultural facilities received almost 300,000 visitors (+4.7% Var. 24/23), of which 7 out of 10 were international.
  • 85.2% of tourists in hotel establishments were international. The most frequent were Americans (18.3% share), who even outnumbered domestic visitors. They were followed by the British (7.4%) and the French (6.8%).
  • The typical tourist in the city of Barcelona1 was a 37-year-old person, traveling for leisure (65.9%) and as a couple (33.2%). Their average expense not only increased to more than 100€ per person and day (+6.6% month-on-month), but also on the same period of 2023 (+6.0% Var. 24/23). Half of this expenditure was invested in food and drinks (51.3%), followed by entertainment, leisure, and culture (18.8%) and shopping for clothes, footwear, souvenirs, and other items (16.8%).
  • As for the job market, both permanent and temporary hiring grew compared to April, but at different rates (+0.7% and +11.5%, respectively). However, permanent hiring remained higher than the temporary.

Barcelona region

  • The open accommodation supply in the region was +4.3% higher than in May 2023, with a total of 1,051 establishments and almost 90,000 operating bedplaces.
  • Both the number of tourists and overnight stays in May 2024 increased month-on-month. In addition, the number of stays in hotel establishments, campsites and rural tourism grew by +16.0% year-on-year
  • The average length of stay was around 2.9 nights, which means an increase compared to May 2023 (+0.3 nights). Campsites continued to have the longest length of stay of all the types of accommodation analysed (3.6 nights). They were followed by hotel establishments (2.8 nights) and rural tourism (2.0 nights).
  • Almost 2 out of every 3 tourists in hotel establishments in Barcelona region were international, growing significantly compared to the previous month (+7.5pp month-on-month).
  • The typical tourist in Barcelona region during this month1 was a person aged 47, travelling for leisure (54.2%) and as a couple (35.3%). The average expenditure during the stay, 54.4€ per person per daygrew not only compared to the previous month (+11.0%), but also year-on-year (+21.4%). This expenditure was mainly spent on food and drinks (63.6%) and the shopping for clothes, footwear, souvenirs and personal effects (14.7%).
  • As in Barcelona city, both permanent and temporary hiring in Barcelona region grew month-on-month, also at different rates (+4.9% and +50.9%, respectively). Permanent contracts also remained higher than temporary ones.


For more information on the profile and habits of tourists during this summer in Destination Barcelona, please click on the following link


Consult the interactive report:


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