International tourist arrivals to Catalonia plummet by 86% in October

Fall of over 90% in usual revenue from the sector

A tourist at the Golden Hotel in Port Salou on September 13, 2020 (by Mar Rovira)
A tourist at the Golden Hotel in Port Salou on September 13, 2020 (by Mar Rovira) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 2, 2020 02:47 PM

October has seen the international arrivals plummet in comparison to the same month last year (86.2%), whilst the income from the industry fell by 92.8% to 135 million euros. 

This is according to the Statistics of Touristic Movements (Frontur) and the Tourist Expenditure Survey (Egatur), published by Spain’s Institute of Statistics (INE, in Spanish) on Wednesday. They also reported that French tourists make up the bulk of these visitors, representing 59.6%.

Usually, the top spenders in the area are France, Germany and the United Kingdom, all countries which are facing extreme travel restrictions, including a 14 day quarantine when returning from Spain in the latter.

An extra problem now is that Spain requires a negative PCR test from many countries 72 hours prior arrival in order to enter the country

Although still a significant decline, July and August experienced a slightly smaller 80% drop in global travellers.

The tourism industry made up 12.9% of Catalonia’s GDP only last year, but now it represents only 3.1% according to the Official Barcelona Chamber of Commerce. 

Despite this, Catalonia remains the main tourist destination in Spain, drawing in 22.6% of all visitors. 

Longer stays

Another changing factor is the average duration of stays, which have lengthened by 9.9%, an average of 5.6 days per person. 

Overnight stays however have dropped by 84.9%, reaching only 1.17 million during October.