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The income of the tax on stays in tourist establishments per inhabitant increased in 2023

06/06/2024 - 16:30h

The OTB updates the results of some twenty SITS-OTB indicators

The OTB has presented the update of the results of 23* of the 30 indicators of the Sustainable Tourism Indicators System (SITS –OTB), an action that is carried out periodically depending on the availability of data. On this occasion, the latest available figures of 8 environmental, 6 economic and 9 socio-cultural indicators have been added. In most cases, these results refer to 2023.

Most of the results have remained quite stable compared to the previous year, although, in some cases, significant changes have been observed. The following is an analysis of this update according to the tourism sustainability area of the indicators:


Environmental area

The recovery of tourism in 2023 has been evidenced by the negative evolution of some of the updated environmental indicators. Thus, for instance, the average distance travelled by tourists from origin to destination, which represents an approximation of the contribution to the carbon footprint of tourism, increased again in all the analised geographical areas. In Destination Barcelona this distance went from 2,860 km to 3,300. This was due to the recovery of international tourism, especially in Barcelona city, where the use of sustainable collective vehicles to get to the city (12.85%) was reduced year-on-year (-2.03pp), which means that the energy efficiency in terms of mobility to reach the destination was affected. On the other hand, in Barcelona region, with more domestic tourism, 12.31% used this type of arrival transport, without major interannual changes.

On the other hand, in terms of internal mobility, although those who moved around actively (on foot, by bicycle, skateboard, roller skates...) in Barcelona city (39.75%) remained fairly stable, in Barcelona region this percentage (66.67%) increased year-on-year (+3.93pp). However, the percentage of tourists who used public transport as the most frequent means of internal transport, which kept being more prominent in Barcelona city (40.33%) than in Barcelona region (8.58%), remained almost at the same level of 2022. Tourist opinion regarding noise also remained stable, with an average of 7.13 in the Destination municipalities. It is worth noting that the improvement of these indicators means, not only less atmospheric and/or noise pollution in the Destination, but better health for the people.


Economic area

As for indicators that measure the impact of the tourism activity in economic terms, all geographical areas generally experienced an upward trend in these indicators. Thus, the average expense during the stay per tourist per day increased, especially in Barcelona city, where for the first time it exceeded €90 per person per day (+8.63% Var. 23/22), while in Barcelona region, it remained stable at over €40 (+0.34% Var. 23/22). However, the differences recorded are not significant enough, especially if the increase in the CPI is taken into account, which was about +3.6% year-on-year.

In contrast, the indicator that calculates the tourist tax income per inhabitant clearly increased, especially in the city of Barcelona, where its result reached €28.57 in 2023 per person (+23.04% Var 23/22). Also in Barcelona region there was a year-on-year growth, with a more modest result of €2.70 per person, which is still a remarkable variation (+16.81% Var. 23/22).

In the field of employment, 11.63% of the people that worked at Destination Barcelona did so in the tourism activity, a stable proportion compared to the previous year. In this same area, the indicator that measures the salaries gap compared with other economic activities, the ratio between the average salary of tourism activity over other activities, increased year-on-year: with the latest data available for the year 2022, for each euro of gross salary of a person working in other activities, one in the tourism activity received 0.73 (+0.09 points Var. 22/21). This indicates that all although there are still important differences between the salaries of the different activities, this inequality was reduced.

Regarding the indicator that shows the distribution of stays throughout the year (which can have an impact both on the quality of jobs and also on the social cost of tourist activity in the destination), the ratio between the maximum and minimum monthly overnight stays in accommodation (3.10 in the Destination as a whole), decreased (-19.11% Var. 23/22), indicating greater tourism des-seasonality. In addition, the average stay remained stable at 3.82 nights (-0.12 nights Var. 23/22). It should be reminded that if the result of this indicator grows, so do the possibilities for the destinations to decentralize and diversify their tourist offer and the possibilities for the average expenditure to be higher, so that tourism activity can benefit more agents.


Sociocultural area

The analysis of the indicators of citizen opinion is of great importance to evaluate this last area of tourism sustainability, since it helps to understand the tolerance or aversion of the citizenry towards tourist activity. In this sense, several indicators included in the SITS-OTB that measure this axis, showed quite different evolutions compared with the previous year. In Barcelona, the percentage of residents who considered tourism to be rather beneficial for the city (70.80%) increased compared with the previous year (+4.00pp Var. 23/22), but the proportion of those who considered that the city was reaching the limit of its capacity to host tourism also increased (61.50%, +5.90pp Var. 23 /22). This could be a consequence of tourist pressure, whose indicator increased once again this year in Barcelona city: from 9 tourists per 100 residents in 2022, to 10 tourists per 100. In contrast, in Barcelona region, both the indicator of tourist pressure (2.50 tourists per 10 residents) and the indicator of citizen opinion on whether the limit for hosting tourism is being reached (28.50%) did not register any notable differences.

Meanwhile, tourist satisfaction, measured with the overall evaluation of the municipality of stay, did not experience major differences and remained at a score of 8.59 out of 10.

Regarding the destination's accessibility indicator, the SITS-OTB also approaches it through the collection of tourists' opinions on accessibility for people with reduced mobility. Thus, the score obtained in 2023 remained stable, at 7.88 out of 10.

Concerning public safety, the various indicators analysed remained stable year-on-year: in the Destination as a whole, tourists rated it 8.23 out of 10, the percentage of tourists who were victims of a crime or attempted crime remained below 2% and the counter-terrorism alert level in Spain stood at 4 out of 5.

Last, but not least, in terms of gender equality, the SITS-OTB incorporates an indicator on the gender wage gap: the ratio between women's and men's wages in tourism activity. With data from 2022, the result of this indicator remained below 1 for the Destination as a whole and therefore, on average, women continued to receive gross wages below men. Specifically, for every euro that men received from tourism activity, women received 0.75 (2 cents more than the previous year). This indicates that this gap was reduced, however the results of this indicator are still far from the desired ideal value.


* The updated indicators are the I01, the I02, the I03, the I04, the I08, the 09, the I10, the I11, the I14, the I15, the I16, the I17, the I18, the I19, the I20, the I21, the I23, the I25, the I26, the I27, the I28, the I29, and the I30. 


More information: SITS-OTB results


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