Balance of the Tourism Season in 2021 in Navarra

Balance of the Tourism Season in 2021 in Navarra

    Tomaso Comazzi
  • 21/09/2021

Plan/Priorities for the season

While there was no specific plan for the summer of 2021, actions taken during this season were within the framework of our 2020-2022 Plan of Action. An essential part of the plan is funding the transformation of the sector within the outline of Next Generation and sustainable destinations.

The plan redefines the strategic touristic sectors of Navarre, increasing priority of assets such as gastronomic, health, rural, sports and family orientated tourism, fomenting a tourism offer adapted to the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Impact of the pandemic on numbers of visitors

Navarre had closed borders to other autonomous communities from October 22, 2020 to 9th of May. Even though, the internal borders were open during summer, several restrictions such as use of surgical masks, distancing, reduced opening hours, local curfews and capacity limits still applied during the summer season.

The yearly San Fermín festival in Pamplona-Iruña was suspended for second year in a row and the amount of international pilgrims on The Way of Saint James were next to none during the first months of the year.

Regarding the summer months, 11.963 pilgrims stayed at the hostel of Roncesvalles, a typical starting place when walking the Way of Saint James.

This is 114% more than in 2020 but still -50% less than in 2019. The proportion of domestic and international pilgrims is also quite different from in 2019. During the summer of 2019, 67% of pilgrims were internationals compared to 50% in 2021

Closed borders incited a special focus on domestic tourism and an increase of one-day excursions. Although helping to uphold a struggling industry during the pandemic, the surge of excursions to certain areas created crowding and parking problems, which also led to some resident concern.

Therefore, measures such as parking regulation and counting systems were put in to action as to manage and limit the flow of tourist to vulnerable attractions as to secure the sustainability of principally natural touristic resources. The amount of visitors exemplifies the surge of domestic to the mains touristic attractions of Navarre, which received 152% percent more visitors than June-July 2020 and 9% more than 2019, before the pandemic.

Nonetheless, the impact of the international travel restrictions are still noticeable.

During the summer of 2019, 29.6% of overnight stays were by international tourists and this summer only 18.4% were international tourists.

On the bright side, the camping’s of Navarre registered 12% more overnight stays throughout the first seven months of 2021 than in 2019 as well as an increase in occupation rates. Another sign of the recovery of the industry comes from a study performed by BBVA

It shows that Spanish tourists from the rest of Spain spent 20% more in Navarre during august 2021 than august 2019.


Data on the Summer Season

Total travelers in accommodation June and July: 262.370 (+77% more than 2020 and -17% less than 2019)
(81.6% Domestic 18.4% International)

Total overnights June and July: 637.973 370 (+62% more than 2020 and -11% less than 2019)
(88% Domestic 12% international)

Mean length of stay June and July: 2.43 days

Type of accommodation:

  • Hotel: 63.4%
  • Camping: 17.1%
  • Rural tourism: 8.3%
  • Hostel: 7.7%
  • Apartments: 3.5%

Great recovery of the campsites that exceed by 34% the overnight stays registered in the same period of 2019. Rural tourism and apartments register -4% less overnight stays than in 2019 and the hotels -38% less, but 82% more than the same period of 2020.


Update on the EU Funds in the Region

Navarre expects to receive 56 million euros between 2021 and 2023 as a part of sustainability plans funded by Next Generation EU. During May 2021, the Direction of Tourism Presented the local plan for Sustainable tourism destinations as well as an initial call for projects within the Next Generation guiding principles:
1. Green and sustainable transition
2. Energy efficiency improvement actions
3. Digitalization
4. Competitiveness 


More info on Regional Recovery Plan

As to adapt to the new reality created by the pandemic the Government of Navarre developed a Tourism Action Plan for 2020-2022.

This action plan aims to transform the tourism industry of Navarre and strengthen the public-private collaboration as to gain in competitiveness, resilience and sustainability. The plan contains of the following strategic areas:

  1. Government and participation
  2. Subventions
  3. Education
  4. Product adaptation
  5. Innovation
  6. Tourism Intelligence
  7. Communication and commercialization


Additional Info

The most recent tourism data from Navarre are available on our website at (Spanish):


Regional Information
Leading Region