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The average gross salary per capita in tourism activities in 2022 in Destination Barcelona was €22,467

27/06/2024 - 12:00h

The Barcelona Tourism Observatory publishes the Job market and salaries of tourism activity in Destination Barcelona 2022 report

The Barcelona Tourism Observatory: city and region has published a new edition of the report on the Job market and salaries of tourism activity in Destination Barcelona 2022, which contains 2022 data1.

This report has been compiled thanks to the specific exploitation of the Continuous Sample of Working Life (MCVL) carried out by the Municipal Data Office of the Barcelona City Council, and the INSS, Idescat and the Observatory of Labour and Productive Model data.

The report consists of a first section of context, which highlights the weight of tourism activity in the whole of Destination Barcelona, shows data on new hiring and registered unemployment during 2022 and the evolution of wages since 2019. In a second section, the report includes an analysis of several topics regarding the employment and salaries in tourism, compared with other activities. In the last section, although the entire report includes data from the three geographical areas where OTB usually covers (Barcelona city, Barcelona region and Destination Barcelona), disaggregated data can be consulted for the different districts of the city of Barcelona.


The following is a summary of the most relevant results of this new edition of the report:

  • In 2022, the number of tourism employees in Destination Barcelona stood at 298,398 (+9.9% year-on-year). Thus, after the impact caused by Covid-19, in 2022 the weight of employment in tourism activity increased again so that in Destination Barcelona it accounted for 11.3% of total employment (+0.6pp Var. 22/21).

  • New hiring rose sharply year-on-year in tourism activity (+51.9% Var. 22/21) and, thanks to the Spanish labour reform of that same year, there was a significant increase in permanent contracts: from 17.3% in 2021 to 48.0% in 2022). In addition, registered unemployment in tourism fell by more than 30% compared to 2021.

  • In the Destination as a whole, the average gross salary per person in tourism activity was €22,467, which means a recovery of +20.2% year-on-year, above the rest of the activities (+4.2%). If we take into account that the annual rate of variation of the CPI in the province was close to 8% on average, the real growth of wages was more limited. It should also be borne in mind that the MCVL collects data on persons affiliated to Social Security in effective terms, with remunerated with wages, without taking into account ERTO income, which particularly affected tourism activity in 2020-2021. It neither collects data on unemployment benefits or subsidies. The impact of the ERTOs at the end of 2022 was very residual in all economic activities as well as in tourism.

  • Food and beverages services, which continued to employ more than half of all tourism workers, remained the tourism sub-activity with the lowest average wage (€16,700), while transport again had the highest wages (€36,546). All tourism sub-activities experienced salary growths compared to the previous year, especially travel agencies, tour operators and other booking services (+40.4% Var.22/21).

  • Almost 1 out of every 2 tourism employees in the Destination received a salary of less than €1,000 gross per month in 2022, slightly less than in 2021, but well above the rest of the activities, where this proportion was 1 out of every 4 people.

  • 4 out of 10 people working in tourism were women, who continued to receive lower salaries than men (€21,560 vs. €28,807). Thus, women's salaries were, on average, -25.0% lower than men's, a gap that was narrowed slightly compared to the previous year.

  • The proportion of workers under thirty in tourism was significantly higher than in other activities (23.2% vs. 16.0%) and salaries were directly proportional to age: in the case of tourism, those under 30 years received salaries of almost 10,000 gross per year less than those aged 45 and over (17,138 € vs. per capita 26,507 €).

  • The share of foreigners in tourism (26.7%) was well above the rest of the activities (12.8%). As in the rest of the activities, foreigners almost received €5,000 less than Spanish nationals (25.2% difference).

  • The proportion of senior managers in other activities was 4 times higher than in tourism. In contrast, the proportion of administrative assistants was much higher in tourism. This category not only received the lowest salaries, but also suffered the biggest wage gap (-14.6% than the rest).

  • Tourism activity was characterised by a lower proportion of people with a bachelor's degree or higher than the rest of the activities (48.8% vs. 61.8%). People with a low education degree again received lower salaries than the rest. However, in tourism, even those with a higher education received salaries less than €30,000.

  • 9 out of 10 people in tourism had a permanent contract, higher than in the rest of activities (8 out of 10). However, compared to the rest, this improvement in the employment status did not mean a greater equality in terms of pay.

  • A quarter of tourism employees had a part-time contract, compared to 14.7% in the rest of the activities. The percentage of women with part-time contracts was significantly higher than that of men, and part-time contract wages were more than half of full-time wages.

  • Tourism enterprises with more than 200 employees, which were proportionally much less than in the rest of the activities, paid their employees better.


1 Although the latest available annual job market data are for 2023, the latest available wage data are for 2022. For this reason, this document only includes 2022 data. However, it should be remembered that the job market data for 2023 can be consulted in chapter 9 of the 2023 Barcelona Tourism Activity report.


More information: Job market and salaries of tourism activity in Destination Barcelona 2022 report


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