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May tourism figures down over 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels

Catalonia welcomed 1.4 million foreign visitors in the month, up more than 480% on 2021


04 July 2022 01:24 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Over 1.4 million foreign visitors came to Catalonia in the month of May, which represents a significant increase on 2021’s figures for the same month, but is still considerably down compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Exactly 1,463,558 people visited from abroad in that month, 21% fewer than in May 2019. In May 2021, however, only 251,155 visitors came, meaning an increase of 482%. 

These data are according to figures released on Monday by the National Statistics Institute. 

In terms of spending, foreign tourists spent around €1.483 million in May, 26% less than the same period in 2019, and 602% more than last year. Each visitor spent, on average, €1,013 on their trip to Catalonia, while before the pandemic the average figure stood at €1,090.

Spending per person per day in May was €204, up by €43 compared to last year but down by €8 euros before the pandemic. 

Nearly a quarter, 23.6%, of the tourists who arrived were French, and 11.5% came from the United Kingdom

Catalonia ranked as the second most popular tourist destination for international visitors who visited Spain in May, with 21% of the total, surpassed only by the Balearic Islands.

Almost 7 million international tourists came to Spain in May (exactly 6,966,913), – 411.1% more than the same month in 2021. Compared to pre-pandemic levels, this figure represents a recovery of 88%. 

Of all regions across Spain, Catalonia received the second most amount of expenditure from tourists, accumulating 18.5% of the total. This was behind only the Balearic Islands which received 22.6% of the total. 


  • People check information boards in Barcelona airport (by Maria Asmarat)

  • People check information boards in Barcelona airport (by Maria Asmarat)