Tourism activity hiring increases despite the demand fall in September in Destination Barcelona

03/11/2021 - 09:30h

The latest tourism activity data in Destination Barcelona have been updated

In September 2021, the tourist activity in Destination Barcelona has slightly decreased if compared to August due to the end of the summer season. However, thanks to the easing of the restrictive measures to travel and to the improvement of the Covid-19 global situation, the activity has grown in comparison to last year. Despite all of this, it must be reminded that data is still way behind the pre-pandemic levels.

During September, the accommodation offer in Destination Barcelona has lost almost 3.000 bed places (-2.0% MoM), mainly because of the closure of some campsites and hotel establishments in Barcelona region after the summer. On the contrary, in Barcelona city, the hotel offer has been increased (+7.2% MoM).

In September, the tourism demand has been lower in all kinds of establishments because of the tourism seasonality itself. Nevertheless, the improvement over the same period last year has been remarkable: overnight stays in hotel establishments in Destination Barcelona have increased by +317.9% and, in Barcelona city, by +509.2%. However, hotel establishments continue to be the most affected by the pandemic, recording losses of around -50% in Destination Barcelona (-40% in Barcelona city and -60% in Barcelona region) compared to 2019. On the other hand, campsites have lost -20% of overnight stays and rural tourism dwellings, -5% (var. 21/19). In Barcelona city homes for tourist use (HTU), the demand has also decreased (MoM), but their overnight stays have been three times higher than in September 2020.

Barcelona Airport has doubled its passengers over last year, despite having -48.4% fewer passengers than in 2019. Meanwhile, in Barcelona port, ​​the arrival of cruise ship passengers has been -75.1% behind 2019, and ferry passengers have increased +5,1% over 2019.

As for the cultural facilities visitors of the city of Barcelona in September, they have decreased by -20% (MoM) and they are quite far behind pre-pandemic levels.

International tourism has remained over domestic tourism in Destination Barcelona (71.8% in hotel establishments), because of the high prevalence of foreign tourists in Barcelona city (80.5%). As for international tourism in the city, French tourists have been the most (11.0%), despite their decrease over the last month (-55.7%). The Americans have ranked second, with a 7.6%- quota and a 3.9%-increase on the previous month. The Germans have occupied the third position and they also have registered a remarkable growth (+48.4%, MoM)

At Barcelona Airport, the arrival of passengers on domestic flights (37.4%) has been lower than the internationals (62.6%). With accumulated data from January to September, passengers traveling from France, Italy, and Germany keep being the most frequent flyers after the domestic ones.

Regarding the economic impact of tourism in Barcelona city, purchases with bank cards in the city shops also show how the tourist activity has kept increasing so that in September, they have only been around -2% behind 2019. The expense during the stay per person in the Destination as a whole has fallen to €423.0, because of the expense reduction in Barcelona region (-27.7% MoM). In Barcelona city, where the proportion of international cards has continued growing, the expense has increased by +5.3%.

Finally, the tourism activity in the job market has kept improving in September: the hiring has increased, both in the case of temporary (+66.2%) and permanent contracts (+87.8%) and the registered unemployment (-6.7%, MoM), is now lower than pre-pandemic levels.

In short, despite the improvement experienced in the job market and the increase of the activity if compared to 2020, tourism demand continues registering losses on 2019, that are similar to those registered during the recent months, which indicates that the recovery of the figures recorded before the pandemic is being slow but steady.


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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