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Barcelona summer tourist season ends with positive numbers

International visitors spend 14% more than last year


05 September 2017 04:53 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The numbers are high as fall approaches and the 2017 tourist season draws to a close. For this year, data shows that tourists – particularly those from international destinations – both arrived in larger numbers and indeed spent more money. For this year so far, occupancy in tourist apartments in Barcelona reached 93%, 1 point higher than last year. Meanwhile, from January to July, Catalonia received 10,991 million from international tourist expenditure, showing an annual growth of 14%. This increase in expenditure and occupancy comes despite the recent attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils; indeed, Catalonia remains the most popular destination in Spain, accounting for 24.3% of the total visitors.

Tourist apartment occupancy in Barcelona up for 2017

One of the central measures of Catalan tourism, tourist apartment occupancy, has increased as predicted. For the month of August alone, occupancy was registered at 90.7%, one point higher than the same month last year. In September, the Association of Tourist Apartments of Barcelona (APARTUR) forecasts similar numbers to previous years, placing tourist apartment occupancy at approximately 86%. The highest spike in occupancy was registered in July, which showed a whole 6 points higher than its 2016 counterpart. The mid-summer month is one of the most significant ones for European tourism Barcelona because, in some countries, the academic year begins in August.

The 1-point increase to 93% total tourist apartment occupancy is higher than the initial forecasts made by APARTUR. Yet, the relative similarity to the same period of 2016 indicates, according to the same entity, that the impact the terror attacks had on tourist apartment bookings was “practically nothing.” The president of APARTUR, Enrique Alcántara, attributed the consistency in reservations to the fact that Europeans "are beginning to get used to the insecurity that exists in all countries." Alcántara also highlighted "the image of a Barcelona of unity and solidarity, which was up to the task of dealing with the situation.”

An increase in tourist expenditure

In July, the annual growth of tourist expenditure has grown an annual 11.7%, reaching €2,804, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE) via the Tourist Expenditure Survey (Egatur). This same month showed an average of €1,099 per tourist (representing an increase of 4.8% compared to the same period last year) as well as an average daily expenditure reaching €158 (equaling a growth of 3.8% annually). Meanwhile, the average length of travel showed as 7 days, an increase of 1% annually. The €10,991 million received (an annual growth of 14%), shows that 22.4% of tourism expenditure in Catalonia is concentrated in the first seven months of the year. Meanwhile, for the whole of Spain, for the period of January-July 2017, the total expenditure of international tourists increased by 15.1% compared to the same seventh-month period in 2016, standing at €49.119 million.


  • Tourists visiting a Catalan town (by ACN)

  • Tourists visiting a Catalan town (by ACN)