Good figures for tourism in Barcelona
Barcelona is the most visited city in Spain and one of the 5 most visited cities in the world, and apparently will remain so for some time. In 2013 it received over 7.5 million visitors, according to the IET, 1.8% more than 2012. Such big numbers are due exclusively to foreign tourists, as the number of domestic visitors fell 6.4% in the same period.
The drop in domestic tourism is easy to explain, given that Spain has been facing a severe economic crisis for years. The increase in foreign visitors, on the other hand, could be due to several factors. One is the political instability in other countries that were once major international tourist destinations, especially Tunisia and Egypt, and now foreigners choose Spain as a safe destination. The dramatic increase of 22% of Russian tourists in 2013 could be due to this fact. It may also have been influenced by the economic recovery of countries like UK, Germany or United States.
Besides the number of tourists, other tourism indicators were also positive. The hotel business grew nearly 3.5% over the previous year, and the average tourist spending grew by almost 20%. Naturally, these figures have positive effects on other tourist services, such as transportation, food, and entertainment.
Rather than accommodate to these encouraging numbers, all people involved in tourism in Barcelona and Spain in general should take the opportunity to further improve services to tourists, making our country even more attractive to foreigners, regardless of the conditions of other international destinations.