Catalonia leads the arrival of foreign tourists until June.
06 Aug 2018

Catalonia leads the arrival of foreign tourists until June.

Empresa Autocares Barcelona

Good balance in the first half of the year.

According to the report published by the IDESCAT, the Catalan statistics institute, Catalonia is the first main destination for foreign tourists arriving in Spain in the first six months of the year, with more than 8.6 million, followed by the Canary Islands, with 6, 8 million visitors, and the Balearic Islands, with more than 5.4 million. The expenditure of international tourists in the first semester reached 38,944 million euros, with an increase of 4.2% over the same period of 2017, according to the Tourist Expenditure Survey (Egatur). Only in June, Spain received 8.5 million international visitors, 1.3% more than the same month of 2017, which made a total expenditure of 9,395 million euros, representing an increase of 4.5% compared to the same month of 2017.


In all of Spain, in the report recently published by INe (National Institute of Statistics), 37.1 million international tourists have been exceeded in the first six months of the year, which means an increase of 1.8 % with respect to the same period of the previous year.

Spain continues its good run in the arrival of international tourists and aims for a new annual record. This growth is also due to the push of Catalonia, which increased the arrival of international tourists by 3.1% (to 2.1 million).

According to data from the INE, Catalonia also led the increase in spending by tourists and travellers, who left 2,402 million euros in the community, 13.6% more than a year earlier. In all of Spain, the expenditure was 9,395 million, 4.5% more.


Countries of origin

Regarding the arrival of tourists to Spain, the United Kingdom is the main country of residence, with almost 2.2 million tourists, representing 25.3% of the total and a decrease of 1.0% compared to June of the same year. last year. Germany and France are the next countries with the most tourists visiting Spain. Germany contributes more than 1.2 million (14.3% less in annual rate) and France 902,620 (5.3% more).

Among the rest of the countries of residence, it is worth mentioning the annual growth of tourists from the Netherlands (15.6%), Russia (14.1%) and the United States (11.8%).

Another remarkable fact is the increase of American tourists who have become the second largest nationality, after years in which the British or French were advanced in the ranking. The key reason pointed by the consortium is that the irruption of new direct connections between Barcelona and large North American cities such as New York, Miami or San Francisco has multiplied its visits.

Against these increases British, French, Italian and German (in this order in the statistics of visits) have gone slightly down compared to the same period last year. It is also news the recovery of Russian tourism, which grew by 18.4% according to the same report

«Tourist proposals. – BARCELONA is much more».

Places to visit near Barcelona

Barcelona Province consists of an extensive territory between the Serra del Cadí mountain range and the Mediterranean Sea. Here there is a wide variation of landscapes and a rich cultural history. The coastline stretches for 100 kilometres, with cities and beautiful fishing villages that have managed to retain their true essence over the years. Another attractive feature of the province is the imposing nature of the interior: there are over 100,000 hectares of protected land, twelve natural parks and a biosphere reserve, really beautiful places that can be visited in one day. There is a whole world to discover less than an hour from Barcelona.








  • Beaches

For example, those of Sitges, Garraf and Vilanova i la Geltrú to the south, and all those in the Maresme to the north. There are long, sandy beaches, small, hidden coves and places where naturism is permitted.

  • Natural Parks

There are twelve protected natural parks near Barcelona, offering the chance to enjoy nature and do all kinds of outdoor activities throughout the year

  • Wine Tourism

The Penedès region, which has been associated with wine for centuries, offers you the chance to discover the country’s wine-growing economy, which has also expanded in other areas in recent years, such as Alella and Pla de Bages.

  • Deltas

The Llobregat delta offers beaches, pine woods, marshland and a river, where you can walk and watch birds. The Besòs Fluvial Park is a magnificent place for enjoying nature and leisure.

  • Modernism

There are nine Modernist routes available near Barcelona: they include wonderful Gaudí buildings, summer residencies, palaces, mansions, factories, wine cellars and romantic gardens.

  • Rural Romanesque

Hidden shrines and hermitages, monasteries, medieval cities, paintings and more besides. Catalonia’s medieval past is well-preserved in the towns around Barcelona.


The area around Barcelona includes the Maresme, Vallès Oriental, Vallès Occidental, Baix Llobregat, Garraf and Alt Penedès counties, which are all first-class tourist attractions for discovering the heart of Catalonia.

There are also cultural activities on the seashore and in the mountains. Touring the towns of central Catalonia provides the opportunity to learn about the history of the country. The marks of our ancestors remain in the form of castles, monasteries, old medieval town centres and Modernist industrial buildings. There are also popular traditional festivals, some of which, like the Patum of Berga, are protected by UNESCO. There are still complete medieval towns, with cobbled streets and rustic houses, such as Rupit and Tavertet. In Vic, one of the oldest cities in Catalonia, there is a market whose origins go back to medieval times and it has an exceptional porticoes main square.


Culinary tourism is another great attraction of the Barcelona Province counties, which are intimately linked to wine culture and have managed to maintain and revive a high-quality wine-growing economy. There are five wine Designations of Origin in this area: Penedès, Alella, Pla de Bages, Catalunya and Cava. Apart from going to the area’s wineries, which are open to visitors, you can also enjoy local festivals linked to rural life and wine-growing.