Catalonia continues to lose Spanish tourists, a trend that began in 2017, but instead, the number of foreign visitors is growing, according to hotel data published on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute.
Thus, in 2019, 7,328,193 Spanish travelers arrived in Catalonia, 0.2% less than in 2018.In contrast, travelers of other nationalities who passed through Catalonia were 13,395,434, a figure one 5.34% higher than the previous year.
In this way, the increase of foreign tourists compensated perfectly the fall of the Spanish visitors. Tourists from the rest of Spain spent 15.7 million overnight stays at Catalan hotels, almost the same figure as the previous year, while foreigners made 42.45 million, 3.7% more than in the year 2018.
The phenomenon repeated in the Catalan capital. To Barcelona in 2019 arrived 1,446,457 Spanish tourists, 3% less than the previous year. In contrast, foreign tourists received the Catalan capital were 7 million, a figure almost 6% higher than in 2018. The Spanish tourists made 2.5 million overnight stays in hotels in Barcelona, while foreigners made 18.8 million.
Good hotel occupation encouraged the sector to raise prices. According to the hotel price index published by the INE, on average in Spain this index increased by 1.9% in 2019, but in Catalonia this was the place where the rate skyrocketed the most, 3.6%, ahead of Madrid (3.5%) and Navarra (3.3%).
Most profitable hotels
This good hotel occupancy and rising prices clearly raised the main indicators of profitability in the sector in 2019, the ADR (which measures the average daily rate of hotels) and the RevPAR (which measures the revenue per available room). Catalan hotels had an average ADR of 101,2 euros, well above the Spanish average of 91 euros. In fact, only the Balearic Islands had a higher average rate in Catalonia, with 106.6 euros. In addition, in Catalonia this indicator grew by 5.4% over the previous year, well above the 2.5% growth in the whole of the State, and only surpassed by Madrid, with 6.6%.
As for the available room income, in Catalonia they averaged 70.3 euros, an increase of 7.9%, when in Spain as a whole this indicator stood at 61.2 euros, with an increase of 3 , 2%. Only the Balearic Islands (84.6 euros) and the Canary Islands (79.3 euros) surpassed Catalonia in available room revenue, but with a growth of 1.9% in the Balearic Islands and a 3.1% decrease in the Canary Islands. In fact, Catalonia is the community where this indicator of hotel profitability grew the most.