View of Parc Guell, in Barcelona, a key tourist spot in the city. (Getty)
View of Parc Guell, in Barcelona, a key tourist spot in the city. (Getty)

Tourism reconquers the streets of Barcelona

83% of Barcelona's visitors are international


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Last Friday, the sun was shining splendidly in Barcelona and its famous Cathedral Square was packed with tourists in shorts and sandals, as if it was summer.

 According to figures from Turisme de Barcelona, the body responsible for tourism, the economic recovery of the sector is getting closer and closer, standing at 75% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Turisme de Barcelona forecasts that the city's hotels will register an occupancy rate of 70% this Easter. 

With the aim of strengthening the city's international projection and giving a final push to its recovery, Turisme de Barcelona will begin a tour of Europe next week to reposition the city in European markets, which account for around 65% of the city's international tourism. 83% of the visitors Barcelona receives are international.

"In markets where there is a high level of repetition, such as Europe, it is important to present new attractive products," highlighted the general director of Turisme de Barcelona, Marian Muro when presenting the tour, which has as its slogan "Barcelona is back to Europe" (Barcelona is back to Europe).

Muro also pointed out that the war in Ukraine has changed the consumer habits of European tourists.  "Last-minute bookings are becoming more and more frequent and the activities to be held in the city are also not taken in advance," she explained.

Among the major attractions that Barcelona wants to promote to attract tourism are the America's Cup 2024, its designation as world capital of architecture in 2026, the Manifesta 2024 Art Biennial, its museums and its important position as a technology and innovation hub. 

On the other hand, Turisme de Barcelona also wants to target the U.S. market, promoting quality tourism with gastronomy and culture as attractions, in addition to selling itself to companies as a venue for the organization of conferences and congresses.

In this sense, a delegation of Turisme de Barcelona led by Muro traveled last March to San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles to address a visitor with added value and showing a special interest in culture and cultural heritage, enogastronomy and diversity.

North American tourists accounted for 11.6% of Barcelona's share of the tourism market in 2019. Their average expenditure was USD 475 per person, above the average of USD 375, and their average stay was 5 days, doubling the average. 


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