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Catalonia is top tourist destination despite the recession

5.8 million people visited the country in the first semester of the year and forecasts predict a rise in hotel occupancy this summer, according to official figures released by the government


03 August 2010 11:36 PM


The Catalan Minister of Innovation, Universities and Business, Josep Huguet, has confirmed that there are “good levels of hotel occupancy” in Catalonia this summer. During the presentation of a report about the tourism sector in Catalonia, Huguet said that the figures for this year “are slightly higher” than last year.
Huguet also stated that hotel occupancy in Catalonia will be “better” this year than last because there are signs of economic recovery on the European markets, which represent 90% of the tourism sector in Catalonia.

Most tourists came from France, where the economy is maintaining its stability and thus helping citizens to go on holidays abroad. The German market, which is also very important for Catalan tourism, is showing “signs of recovery”, according to Huguet, therefore, more German tourists are expected this summer in Catalonia than last year.

The greatest increase in the number of visitors will be from Russia, as 25% more Russians plan to take holidays in Catalonia. The minister also announced a “slight increase” in the number of visitors from Holland, the north of Europe and the United States.

Already the top tourist destination in the state, Catalonia received up to 5.8 million visitors in the first six months of the year. On average, every visitor spends between 160 and 110 euros daily.

“Catalonia,” said the minister, “represents 25.3% of all foreign tourism in Spain.”
During the presentation the minister defended the government’s tourism policy. He argued that tourism has risen by 22% in the last seven years, mainly due to the “diversified proposals” put forward by the Generalitat and because of the “policies put in place to support tourism in the interior of the country.”

Huguet said that the “artistic and cultural heritage” of Catalonia has been promoted more more than ever, and emphasized the increased significance of “city tourism” in Barcelona itself.


  • Tourist in Barcelona, the Catalan capital

  • Tourists in a beach in Catalonia

  • Tourist in Barcelona, the Catalan capital
  • Tourists in a beach in Catalonia