Balance of the Tourism Season in 2021 in Catalonia

Balance of the Tourism Season in 2021 in Catalonia

    Tomaso Comazzi
  • 21/09/2021

Impact of the pandemic on numbers of visitors

The two high-intensity summer months (July and August) have behaved unevenly across the territory. The coast has withstood the high season with subsistence occupations, the interior has once again had excellent results and the city of Barcelona has suffered the most considerably.


  • International markets from Germany, UK and Russia have been scarce
  • Proximity Tourism mainly from Catalonia, the rest of Spain and France: have been the most favorable markets influencing on the positive results of the summer season

The summer of 2021 has been a little more than half of a normal summer. The result has been much better than in 2020. It is missing between 30% and 40% to be in the same numbers as in 2019 before the coronavirus.

Terres de l’Ebre and the Pyrenees have practically equaled pre-pandemic overnight stays. The rest of the destinations, on the coast, have had better data than expected.

From the Hotel Association of the Province of Tarragona for example, they have made a balance of the occupation of this summer in the tourist lodgings qualifying it “of high”, with occupations that have surpassed 90% the month of August. The Costa Daurada has received a very important national family tourist that has largely compensated for the lack of foreigners

In the case of the Costa Brava the results have been very similar to those of the Costa Daurada, but with some better points thanks to the proximity to the French border that has allowed to have some more international tourists. For its part, the Maresme coast has had occupations of 60%

The city of Barcelona has suffered a lot. With half of the hotels closed and those open with less than 70% occupancy.


Data on the Summer Season

Arrivals to tourist establishments

  • July 2021: recorded 3 million arrivals = +70% compared to 2020 and  -18% compared to 2019
  • From January to July 2021, 8.1 million arrivals were recorded
  • Compared to 2020 the volume of arrivals until the month of July has increased by 46%

Overnight stays

  • July 2021: overnight stays reached 9.6 million = +65% compared to 2020 and -31% compared to 2019
  • Since July 2021, 21.1 million overnight stays have been recorded
  • Compared to 2020, the volume of overnight stays until July has increased by 47%
  • Catalans accounted for 44% of overnight stays in July

The foreign market has accounted for 34% of overnight stays: far from the 62% it represented in July 2019, but above the 28% compared to July 2020

Regional Information
Leading Region