Destination Barcelona hotel establishments register more international tourists than Spanish for the first time since March 2020

01/09/2021 - 09:45h

The latest tourism activity data in Destination Barcelona have been updated

In July 2021, the tourist activity in Destination Barcelona has kept growing due to the lifting of the restrictive measures to avoid the spread of Covid-19. The activity is currently higher than in 2020, but still way behind the 2019 level.

During July, the accommodation offer in Destination Barcelona has kept improving: over 100 establishments (+9.7%) and 20,000 beds (+20.0%) have reopened.

In Destination Barcelona, the hotel establishments’ demand figures have clearly improved compared to June: A +49.6%-increase in tourists has been registered, while overnight stays have grown by +70.8%. The average stay (+0.3 nights) and the occupancy rate (+11.4pp) have also increased, reaching 44.2% on the second case. Despite these growths, which have been higher in Barcelona city than in the region, the activity is still between -50% and -60% behind 2019. Campsites (-32.3% in overnight stays, var. 21/19) and particularly rural tourism (+0.8% in overnight stays, var. 21/19) have been those that have recovered the best.

The overnight stays in homes for tourist use have increased by +52.6% compared to the previous month and a reduction in the average stay (7.5 nights) has been registered, while the occupancy rate has increased to 44.4%.

Barcelona Airport has registered an increase of +65.3% in passengers compared to June. Meanwhile, in Barcelona port, ​​the cruise activity was restarted in June, although the arrival of passengers in this means of transport has still been quite testimonial since than (42,410). On the other hand, more than 150,000 passengers have been registered on ferries, almost doubling the previous month's records. However, they have decreased by -29.4% compared to 2019.

In June, the cultural facilities visitors of the city of Barcelona grew compared to June, thanks to the increase of foreign visitors.

On the other hand, and for the first time since March 2020, international tourism has surpassed domestic tourism in Destination Barcelona (56.0% in hotel establishments), because of the high prevalence of foreign tourists in Barcelona city (70.5%). On the contrary, in Barcelona region, the arrival of national tourists (62.1%) has exceeded the international ones.

In addition, at Barcelona Airport, the arrival of passengers on domestic flights (41.5%) has been lower than the international (58.5%). With accumulated data from January to July, they have been followed by passengers traveling from France, Italy, and Germany. The UK passengers stand in the eighth position because of the imposed measures to contain the British variant of Covid-19 during the first months of the year.

As for the economic impact of tourism in Barcelona city, purchases with bank cards in the city shops also show how the tourist activity has experienced a slight upturn in the last months, so in July, the YoY variations (var. 21/19) have been around -16%, while those of June, around -20%. Finally, a slight increase in the proportion of international cards use has also been observed. Meanwhile, the expense during the stay per person in the Destination as a whole has grown to €393.2 in June (+9.5% compared to June).

Finally, the tourism activity in the job market has slightly improved compared to June: temporary hiring has increased, although they keep still far from 2019 levels. As for the registered unemployment, it fell by -12.1% (MoM), despite being +17.5% above the same month of 2019. It must be reminded that thanks to the effect of the lay-off plans (ERTOs), the number of unemployed could be higher.


With the analysis of the different thematic areas, which offer a transversal vision of the sector, the Observatory of Tourism in Barcelona updates the monitoring of the tourism activity. This analysis complements the monthly report on the Profile and Habits of Tourists in Barcelona Destination. All data is presented in three geographical areasBarcelona cityBarcelona region, and Destination Barcelona.


Consult the interactive report on the Latest data section:


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