Plaza de Catalunya metro station at 11 in the morning on any given day of the week: overflowing with tourists. The old part of the city, Paseo de Gracia, Ramblas, access to Parc Güell, Sagrada Familia, beaches… any interesting corner of the city, and there are many, it is full of visitors practically every day of the year.
This is Barcelona the most touristic and cosmopolitan city in Spain and one of the best positioned at European level. According to official data, more than 8 million foreigners stayed in hotels in the city in 2016, which places it in fourth place in the ranking of most visited cities behind London, Paris and Istanbul. To these data must be added tourism from the interior of the peninsula, which also grows year after year.
These are figures based on hotel reservations and the total number of overnight stays, which exceeded 20 million in 2016. But in addition to this type of accommodation, there are other alternatives that are also popular with tourists, such as renting apartments near the Barcelona beach or in various parts of the city. Many of these visitors found the apartment of their dreams at Lugaris.com, which has a wide range of luxury apartments facing the sea.
If we take these options into account, and we add the spaces that escape administrative control (private rooms or illegal tourist rentals) It is estimated that around 30 million people visit the city each year..
The games of 92, starting point
The 1992 Olympic Games positioned Barcelona on the world tourism map. The city, with a discreet popularity at that time, suddenly jumped into the media. Overnight, millions of people set their sights on a Mediterranean city with a mild climate, outstanding architecture, and a remarkable cultural and gastronomic offer.
And that push has been maintained. After the effect of the Games, the city has established itself as a preferred destination that doesn’t stop growing. Barcelona is already an essential city in the programs of national and international tour operators. And where does the flood of visitors come from? They mainly come from the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the United States. Russian tourism, very remarkable a few years ago, has stagnated a bit but it is maintained. The current bet of the businessmen of the sector is to promote the Chinese visitor.
Where does Barcelona’s success lie?
There are many factors that contribute to consolidating the Barcelona brand. In addition to the climate and the 4 kilometers of beach, the city has a architectural appealoutstanding. Along with the well-known old town, with the remains of the Roman wall, the narrow streets and the impressive Gothic cathedral, the city presents a unique and singular treasure: the Modernismpresent in buildings on Paseo de Gracia, Parc Güell, Palau de la Música and of course the Sagrada Familia.
But the tourist route in Barcelona is not only concentrated in the usual places, it has also moved some neighborhoods. The poblenou, an old revitalized industrial area very close to the sea, has numerous hotels and bars. Tourism has also shifted to Gracia neighborhood. This popular area of the city, with its narrow streets and squares lined with bars, has become a favorite leisure spot for younger tourists.
The gastronomy, based on the Mediterranean diet, is another highlight of the city, as well as the museum panorama and the wide cultural offer. On the other hand, the city has a cosmopolitan and emerging aspect that makes it a very attractive destination for young artists, entrepreneurs and professionals linked to new technologies.
Do not forget the sport. The Barcelona Soccer Club It is a reference team in international football. For this reason, the Camp Nou and the Barça Museum are already obligatory places of pilgrimage for lovers of this sport and worshipers of Messi and Neymar.
The numerous international congresses that hosts the city and the cruise activity have just completed the panorama of attractions in Barcelona. the port is Europe’s leader in the cruise sector: Last year, more than 2.5 million travelers disembarked in the city. This type of tourism usually has a high purchasing power and stops at luxury shops in the city. This has contributed to placing Barcelona among the preferred destinations for high-quality visitors. standing.
A brake on excess tourism
The tourism boom in Barcelona has very positive aspects from an economic point of view, but it is creating problems for people of the city. The overcrowding and some added inconveniences, such as noise and the proliferation of illegal accommodation, has led the municipal authorities to take action on the matter. Last January, the municipal government team launched a measure that prevents the opening of new hotels in the city and the expansion of existing ones.