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Catalonia tops Spain in foreign tourist spending in 2019

With total of over 21 billion euros, each international visitor spent average of 1,102 euros, says statistics institute


03 February 2020 12:07 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Foreign visitors spent more money in Catalonia than anywhere else in Spain in 2019, a total of 21.3 billion euros, or 21.3% of the state total, says the National Statistics Institute (INE).

The revenue from international tourism in Catalonia was a 4.1.% increase over 2018, with spending in Spain as a whole rising 2.8%, to 92.2 billion euros.

Each tourist spent an average of 1,102 euros in Catalonia and Spain as a whole, a 3.3% and 1.7% increase over the previous year, respectively. 

As for the number of visitors, Catalonia also came top with 19.3 million, some 0.8% more and 23.1% of the total for Spain, which saw 83.7 million tourists in 2019, or 1.1% more.

Most visitors German and French

The majority of international visitors to Catalonia were from Germany, which made up 19.9% of the total, with another 18.8% coming from France.

French and Germans were among the tourists who spent most in Spain as a whole (11.7 and 7.5 billion euros, respectively), although the British came top, spending 17.9 billion.

Most tourists to Spain arrived by plane, almost 3.5 million in December (up 3.3%), while an extra 15% and 11% arrived by ship and road, respectively.

The majority of visitors in December came for leisure (3.5 million), a slight fall of 0.9%, while the percentage coming for professional reasons went up 18.7%, to more than 381,000.


  • Some tourists sunbathing in Lloret de Mar in May 2019 (by Aleix Freixas)

  • Some tourists sunbathing in Lloret de Mar in May 2019 (by Aleix Freixas)