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Tourism demand grew year-on-year in the first four months of 2024

04/06/2024 - 09:30h

The latest tourism activity data in Destination Barcelona have been updated - April 2024 edition

The Barcelona Tourism Observatory: city and region, presents the monthly analysis of the main tourism activity monitoring indicators.

The main conclusions of the April update are presented below by geographical area. It should be borne in mind that, on this occasion, because the Easter holidays took place in March instead of April like last year, the analysis of the evolution of some indicators is presented, in some cases, not only comparing the April montly data, but also the aggregate data for the first four months of the year.


Barcelona city

  • Hotels and guesthouses supply accounted for 676 establishments and almost 87,600 available beds, which means almost the same number of beds compared to the previous month, but above last year (+1.6% Var. 24/23).
  • Due to the seasonality of tourism, both the number of tourists and overnight stays in hotels, guesthouses and homes for tourist use (HTUs) grew. However, the early timing of Easter meant that growth in this month was rather moderate (+1.0% in tourists and +0.7% in overnight stays Var. 24/23). In any case, the sum of overnight stays in these two types of accommodation during the first four months of the year was +5.3% year-on-year
  • In April, HTUs recorded a longer length of stay than in the previous month (from 4.0 to 4.3 nights), while in hotels and guesthouses, the length of stay remained at 2.6 nights. However, occupancy in the latter type of accommodation was above 70% (+4.8pp month-on-month), while in HTUs it decreased to 60% (-13.3pp month-on-month).
  • At Barcelona Airport, 4.6 million movements of passengers were recorded in April (+7.5% month-on-month), and the figures of the first four months of the year remained ahead of the same period of 2023 (+13.2% Var. 24/23 in passengers). The ranking of countries from which passengers flew to Barcelona Airport during these months was leaded by domestic flight passengers. Passengers flying from Italy ranked second, followed by passengers travelling from the United Kingdom, and France.
  • In Port of Barcelona, cruise passengers in April doubled month-on-month, due to the increase in the supply of this type of ship, exceeding 275,000 passengers. The accumulated year-on-year variation in this case stood at +6.7%. On the other hand, although the year-on-year variation in ferry passengers remained positive from January to April (+2.5%), fewer people arrived by this means of transport than in the previous month (118,000 people, -3.0% month-on-month).
  • In April almost 85% of tourists in hotel establishments in the city were international. The Americans (13.6% share), British (7.4%) and Italians (7.1%) were the most frequent.
  • The typical tourist in the city of Barcelona1 was a 37-year-old person, traveling for leisure (62.8%) and as a couple (32.4%). Although the average expense during their stay grew to 97.1€ per person and day (+11.6% month-on-month), it decreased compared to April 2023 (-9.3% Var. 24/23). Half of this expenditure was invested in food and drinks (50.4%), followed by entertainment, leisure, and culture (18.3%) and shopping for clothes, footwear, souvenirs, and other items (16.7%).
  • Registered unemployment in the tourism activities was reduced month-on-month, yet it remained above April 2023 (+4.3%). However, of the new hiring, both the indefinite (+10.9%) and temporary contracts (+10.0%) grew over the previous month.

Barcelona region

  • Despite the fact that a hundred of hotels, guesthouses, rural tourism establishments and campsites in the region reopened in March because of Easter, in April, some rural tourism establishments closed and the rest of the accommodation did not reopen at the same pace in the region as in the previous year. Thus, the operating supply in the region was -1.2% lower than in April 2023, with a total of nearly 1,000 establishments and 70,000 operating bedplaces.
  • Despite a month-on-month increase in tourism demand, the fact that Easter in 2023 took place in April caused both the number of tourists and overnight stays in April 2024 to fall year-on-year (-9.4% Var. 24/23). However, during the first four months of 2024, the sum of overnight stays in all types of accommodation analysed grew by +8.8% year-on-year.
  • By type of establishment, campsites recorded +14.5% more overnight stays than in the first four months of the previous year and the highest average stay (3.6 nights). Hotel establishments also experienced a remarkable growth in overnights during these 4 months (+8.2% Var. 24/23), and an average stay of 2.2 nights. Finally, rural tourism establishments stays decreased by -9.2% (Var. 24/23) and they recorded an average stay of 2.1 nights.
  • 6 out of every 10 tourists in Barcelona region hotel establishments were international in April, so that their proportion grew considerably compared with the previous month (+10.7pp month-on-month).
  • The typical tourist in Barcelona region during this month1 was a person aged 45, travelling for leisure (53.9%) and as a couple (37.4%). The average expenditure during the stay, 49.1€ per person per day, grew not only compared to the previous month (+19.0%), but also year-on-year (+13.9%). This expenditure was mainly spent on food and drink (65.1%) and the shopping for clothes, footwear, souvenirs and personal effects (12.1%).
  • Unemployment in tourism activity fell compared with the previous month, although it was slightly higher than in the same period last year (+1.0%). New indefinite contracts grew month-on-month (+21.8%), while new temporary contracts fell (-9.9%).


For more information on the profile and habits of tourists during this summer in Destination Barcelona, please click on the following link


Consult the interactive report:


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