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Catalan hotels had more than 48 million overnight stays in 2011, 5.9% more than in the previous year

Catalan hotels registered in 2011 a new tourist record of 48.029.385 overnight stays. Foreign tourism increased by 10.6% in 2011. However the economic crisis led to a 2.5% fall in domestic tourism. Catalonia hosted 16.5 million of tourists last year, a 5% increase regarding 2010 figures.


06 March 2012 03:00 PM


ACN / Janire Zurbano Arrese

Madrid (ACN).- Catalan hotels registered in 2011 a new tourist record of 48.029.385 overnight stays, 5.9% more than in 2010, according to the Spanish Institute of Statistics (INE). Almost half of these overnight stays took place from June to September. Altogether, last year 16.5 million tourists visited Catalonia, coming from abroad and the rest of Spain. It represents a 5% rise than in 2010, because of an increase in foreign tourism. In 2011 almost 10 million foreigners came to Catalonia, 10.6% more than the previous year. The Spanish tourists\u2019 figure, instead, fell by 2.5 %.

Overnight stays increased more than 2.7 million compared to 2010. In 2010, hotels had registered 45.3 million overnight stays, an increase of 7.6% compared to 2009. These two years of visitor increases confirm a positive trend that leaves behind the tourism crisis of 2008 and 2009.

Foreign tourism, on the increase

In 2011 foreign tourism represented 68% of the total of overnight stays registered by Catalan hotels and 60% of the total of travellers who visited Catalonia. In both cases, the figures increased by 10.6% compared to 2010. In 2011 almost 10 million of foreign tourist (9.968.895) came to Catalonia and occupied more than 15.1 million hotel nights.

However, Spanish tourists\u2019 overnight stays, which represented 32% of the total, fell by 2.9% in 2011, representing 452.000 overnight stays less than in 2010. Last year Catalonia lost 165.000 Spanish tourists. 6.5 million Spaniards visited Catalonia, 2.5% less than in 2010.

Each tourist stayed 2.91 days as average

Most of the hotel overnight stays were registered during the summer months, including September. Also, 2011 increased the volume of tourists and also their stays. Each tourist stayed 2.91 days in the hotel, when a year before the average was 2.88 days. As for the degree of occupancy, this exceeded 60% at weekends, 1.7 percentage points more than in 2010.

286 million overnight stays in Spain

In 2011 overnight stays in the whole of Spain reached 286.6 million, an increase of 6.4% compared to 2010. Whereas Spaniard tourist figures diminished by 2.2%, foreign tourists\u2019 stopovers increased by 12.7%.

As for the number of visitors, Spain hosted almost 85.4 million tourists in 2011, each one staying for 3.36 days. 53.5% of them were Spanish travelers.

German and British tourists represented 27% and 24 % of the total of foreigners\u2019 overnight stays in hotels during 2011.

Barcelona, the second tourist destination in Spain

Barcelona is, after Madrid, the second destination within Spain in volume of overnight stays. The Catalan capital closed 2011 with 16.1 million overnight stays, 7.2% more than in 2010. Hotels registered almost one million more stopovers.

Establishments within the city registered 8% more visitors than in 2010, a total of 6.9 million tourists; 76% of them being foreigners.

Also, hotels in Barcelona registered a 65.4% occupancy rate, which rose to more than 70% at weekends. The Catalan capital offered almost 67,000 hotel places in more than 500 establishments.

In Catalan provinces

In 2011 the Province of Barcelona registered 25.8 million overnight stays; 19.7 million were foreign tourists, whereas 6.1 million were Spanish travelers. The average stay of visitors was 2.51 days. More than 10 million travelers, 7 million of them foreigners, visited the hotels. Throughout the year, occupancy was over 60%.

In the Province of Girona, in northeastern Catalonia, more than 10.8 million overnight stays were registered; 7.4 million of them were foreign tourists, whereas Spaniards made up the remaining 3.4 million people. More than 3.2 million tourists stayed in hotels in Girona and 1.8 million of them were foreigners. In this case, the average stay was 3.29 days. Lloret de Mar, on the Costa Brava, was the town which registered the greatest volume of occupancy, with 78.1% of the offered places covered. All throughout the province, hotels registered a 52% occupancy rate.

Lleida Province, western and northwestern Catalonia, registered 1.7 million overnight stays. Most of them, more than 1.4 million, corresponded to tourists who lived in Spain, whereas only 250,000 overnight stays were from foreign tourists. Besides, hotels registered 2.13 day-stays. According to these establishments, of the more than 797,000 people who visited Lleida, 682,000 of them live in Spain. In Lleida, the occupancy was 28.5% of the total of offered places.

Finally, the Province of Tarragona, southern Catalonia, registered 9.6 million overnight stays; 5.5 million of them came from foreign tourists while the remaining 4.1 million belonged to Spanish visitors. In this case, the average stay was 4 days. Hotels within Tarragona received the visit of almost 2.4 million travelers and registered an occupancy rate of almost 60%.


  • A hotel in Sort, in the Catalan Pyerenees (by M. Lluvich)

  • A hotel in Sort, in the Catalan Pyerenees (by M. Lluvich)