Tourism in Catalonia down by 81.6% in July

Visitors spent €424 million, 85.6% less than same month last year

Tourists line up to enter Gaudí's Casa Batlló (by Carola López)
Tourists line up to enter Gaudí's Casa Batlló (by Carola López) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

September 1, 2020 12:34 PM

The extent of the blow Covid-19 has dealt to the economy, and to the tourism sector in particular, is becoming even more apparent.

Although this will not come as a surprise to residents who have noticed visitor hotspots were far emptier than usual this summer, only 436,742 tourists traveled to Catalonia in July, down 81.6% compared to July 2019 according to figures released by the Spanish Statistics Institute on Tuesday.

Of these 436,742 visitors, somewhat under half of them (41.8%) were from France while 11.8% were from other European countries.

The total expenditure of international tourists in Catalonia also decreased spectacularly to 424 million euros this past July, down 85.8% compared to the same month last year.

During the second quarter of 2020, 12.1% of workers in Catalonia were employed in the tourism sector, which has historically been an important pillar of the economy both locally and in the rest of Spain. 

Year to date tourism down

The overall drop in the number of foreign visitors to Catalonia this year compared to the same period in 2019 stands at 75.6%, with a total of 2,753,933 tourists, with their expenditure decreasing by 77.7% to 2.758 billion euros.

Drop in number of visitors to Spain

Spain as a whole has also experienced a spectacular drop – 75% – in the number of visitors this July as only 2.5 million people chose to travel to the Iberian country.

As was the case of Catalonia, most of these visitors to Spain were from France, although the number of French visitors also decreased by 58.4% compared to July 2019.

Catalonia was the second most visited part of Spain after the Balearic Islands, attracting 17.7% and 23.9% of all tourists in July 2020 respectively.