The percentage of tourists who used public transport as a means of internal transport grew in 2022
The Barcelona Tourism Observatory updates the results of some twenty SITS-OTB indicators
The OTB has presented the update of the results of 21 indicators* of the Sustainable Tourism Indicators System – SITS -OTB, an action that is carried out periodically depending on the availability of data.
In this update, the results of 8 environmental, 5 economic and 8 socio-cultural indicators have been added. Of these, around half have improved on the previous result, a third, mostly environmental, have worsened and the rest have remained stable.
The analysis of the main latest results is presented below:
The recovery of tourism has been evidenced by the negative evolution of half of the updated environmental indicators. Thus, the average distance travelled by tourists from origin to destination (I01) increased again, after the reduction experienced during the 2020-2021 period. The average distance travelled to get to Barcelona city was again over 3,000 km, while in Barcelona region was over 2,000 km. This was due to the recovery of international tourism, especially intercontinental tourism.
The use of sustainable collective vehicles to reach the municipality of stay (I09) also lost its prominence after an increase during the pandemic, due to the growth in international tourism, which increased the proportion of air travel to Destination Barcelona in 2022, to the detriment of more sustainable modes of transport.
However, in terms of internal mobility, although the number of tourists who moved around actively (on foot, by bicycle, skateboard, roller skates...) (I10) was decreased in the Destination as a whole, in Barcelona region this percentage was increased and, in Barcelona city, it was decreased in favour of a greater use of public transport. Actually, the percentage of tourists who used public transport as the most frequent means of internal transport in 2022 (I11) increased significantly in both geographical areas due to the recovery of the confidence lost in public transport during Covid-19 and other factors such as the increase in the price of oil and the campaigns to promote public transport carried out by the public administration.
As for the extra-tourism aspects, there have been no changes in the percentage of wastewater treated to at least secondary level (I04), remaining at 100% (mandatory in Catalonia) and the percentage of energy generated from renewable sources (I08) decreased once again in Catalonia in 2022.
The increase in tourism activity in 2022 was directly transferred to the positive evolution of several economic indicators: both the average expense per tourist (I15) and the income from the tourist tax per inhabitant (I16) grew in 2022 compared to the previous year at similar or higher levels than in 2019.
On the employment side, according to the latest data available (2021) the percentage of tourism-related employment (I17) fell compared to 2020, especially in Barcelona city, where the impact of Covid-19 on tourism activity was higher, due to a greater dependence on international tourism. However, the ratio between the average wage of tourism activity and other activities (I18), which was still below 1 (ideal value), partially recovered in 2021, as the number of temporary lay-offs (ERTOs) decreased.
As for the development control indicator, the availability of current plans or strategies of sustainable tourism at the destination (I13) remained stable at "YES", which denotes that the commitment shown by destinations to sustainable development of tourism activity is real.
The ratio between women's and men's wages in tourism (I23) remained stable in Destination Barcelona as a whole, although it did not exceed the ideal value of 1.
With regard to tourists' opinion of certain aspects of the Destination indicators, it is worth noting that all those included in the SITS-OTB improved: the opinion on accessibility (I20) and the overall evaluation of the municipality of stay (I27) recorded higher scores in 2022 than in the previous year.
Meanwhile, while the percentage of residents who believe that tourism is beneficial for their municipality (I25) continued to decline, especially in Barcelona city, the percentage of those who believe that it is reaching the limit for hosting tourism (I26) is decreasing.
Finally, although the evaluation of public safety (I28) improved compared to 2021, the percentage of tourists who were victims of a crime or suffered an attempted crime against their person or vehicle (I29) experienced a slight upturn and the official level of security at the destination (anti-terrorism alert level in Spain) (I30) remained stable.
* The results of the following indicators have been updated: I01, I02, I03, I04, I08, I09, I10, I11, I13, I15, I16, I17, I18, I20, I23, I25, I26, I27, I28, I29, and I30.