Positive tourism balance in Catalonia in 2019
14 Jan 2020

Positive tourism balance in Catalonia in 2019

Barcelona airport exceeds a new passenger record in 2019 and is close to its capacity limit.

In round figures, Barcelona airport has exceeded 52 million passengers this 2019, with an increase of 5% over the last year.

This new increase is seen with some concern since the maximum capacity cap of the Prat Airport is set at 55 million travelers. In the last ten years, more than 20 million travelers have been earned. Despite there is a new master plan that wants to expand this horizon to almost 70 million, the works that could guarantee are not yet being carried out. With these results, Prat Airport rises to sixth position in the European ranking of airports with the highest volume of passengers. Passengers on international flights increased 5.4%, while the increase in domestic flight travelers was 4.2%.

For its part, the Girona-Costa Brava airport has closed a negative 2019, since the number of passengers fell by 4%, while the Reus airport, on the other hand, has moved with very similar figures and has had a slight increase of 0.8% compared to 2018.

In the following graph, you can see the evolution in each of the airports:

Regarding the tourism balance, in Catalonia, foreign tourism has grown by 1.5%, which has allowed it to exceed 19 million international visitors. It is also necessary to highlight the expenditure that the different tourists and visitors have made, since it has exceeded the 5% increase to exceed 21.3 million euros. The average daily expenditure per international tourist has placed at 195 Eur. and increases the cost of the year 2018 by ten euros per tourist.

On the other hand, there have also been good results in the regions around Barcelona. The number of visitors and, by default, the number of stays has increased. This growth has been noticed more in hotels and campsites than in rural tourism establishments.

From the reports of the Tourism Observatory of this past 2019, there is also a remarkable fact and that places the degree of repeatability of tourists in their visits to the destination of Barcelona at 47.7%. 29.4% of these repeaters come to Barcelona for professional reasons. British, French and Americans are the origins of the most frequent international tourists. The repeatability indicator is of exceptional importance when determining the profiles, mobility and behavior of the visitor once he arrives at this destination, since he has a habit of making new routes, expanding his previous experiences and knowing other places in the surroundings of Barcelona.

Transport operation at Barcelona Airport upon arrival of tourist groups

In 2019 it has not been a historic year in terms of tourism data, but the final balance is considered positive. The number of visitors from the United States and Russia has grown the most, while those from the Nordic countries, France and the United Kingdom have had a slight decline.


More than 400 professionals from the tourism sector attended the ceremony of the Catalan Tourism Awards 2019 in an event held at the Palau de la Generalitat and which was attended by the President of the Generalitat, the Consellera de Empresa and the management General of tourism and the director of the Catalan Tourism Agency among other authorities.

The winners were the City Council of Aitona as “Best Tourist Experience” for –The Route of the Peach Rose Flower

On the other hand, the prize for Innovation in Promotional Actions was for the Tourism Association of La Garrotxa, while the prize for Best Knowledge and Research project was for Professor Dolores Vidal.

In the Responsible Tourism category, the award went to the Girona Camping Association and the Wine Tourism prize went to the Hotel Restaurant Cal Llop de Gratallops.

Overview of the event inside the Palau de la Generalitat.


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