Over 2.2m visitors to Barcelona stayed in hotels this summer
Council figures show a 4.6% rise between June and August, with 84% of tourists to the city coming from abroad
More than 2.2 million people stayed in hotels in Barcelona between June and August, a 4.6% increase compared with last year, according to city council figures.
The councilor in charge of tourism, Agustí Colom, said on Thursday that a total of 2,279,154 people stayed in hotels in that period, with the figure rising to 4.6 million if all forms of accommodation are included, such as tourist apartments and hostels.
In terms of overnight stays, the total number of nights people spent in Barcelona hotels was 5,938,557, some 0.66% more than last year.
Meanwhile, some 84% of visitors to the city were foreign, who on average stayed in the city for slightly less time than in 2017 (2.6 nights compared with 2.7 night).
Yet, the figures also show that visitors on average spent more during their stay, with the overall average daily spending rising from 79 euros per person in 2017 to 84 euros this year.
Of this spending, some 44% was spent in eateries, 21% in shops, 17% on entertainment, and 12% on local transport.
Rise in visitors from US and China
Of the 1.9 million foreign visitors staying in Barcelona hotels (101,821 more than last year), the largest rise was seen in tourists from the US (18.2%), China (12.3%), France (12%) and Italy (5.9%), while the number of visitors from Japan, Sweden and Norway all fell.
In recent years, Barcelona has become an increasingly popular stopover for cruise ships, and this summer 997,045 cruise passengers arrived in Barcelona's port, of which 61%, some 9.9% more than last, went on to spend at least one night in the city.
In interpreting the figures, Colom said they "contradict the alarmist voices about the tourist situation in the city," although the councilor admitted there was a need to manage mass tourism in the city in a more "sustainable" way that has "less impact."