Nearly 12 million tourists visited Barcelona last year, providing further confirmation that visitors remain unperturbed by the region’s political volatility. The record of 11,977,277 was five per cent higher than the previous year, and the number of stays – in hotels and other private tourist accommodation – totalled nearly 33 million.
First deputy mayor Jaume Collboni, who has responsibility for tourism and creative industries, said the data was positive and highlighted the Barcelona tourism sector’s “dynamism, strength and impetus”.
Figures from the National Statistics Institute also confirmed that hotel demand experienced significant growth in 2019: 8.5 million tourists (up 5.6%) and 21.3 million stays (also a rise of 5.6%).
The institute noted that foreign tourists spent an average of €195 a day in 2019, which represented a 5.3% increase compared with 2018.
These tourism figures are reinforced by an end-of-year report previously released by the Spanish airport authority Aena, showing that the number of passengers using Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport in 2019 totalled 52,686,314, five per cent more than in 2018. Passenger totals on international commercial flights rose by 5.4% (to 38,630,785).
Noise Under Control at Spanish Airports
The increase in airport passenger numbers is not expected to have an adverse effect on noise levels in and around the airport. Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat is one of six Aena airports in Spain that compile and provide accredited noise data in accordance with the ISO 20906 norm. (Also ensuring continuous noise is monitored in airport environments are Alicante-Elche, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Málaga-Costa del Sol, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia.)
This accreditation, according to Aena, demonstrates its “commitment to promote active and transparent communication with the communities located around airports, ensuring the quality of published data on noise pollution”.
The six airports total more than 1,312,179 operations a year and have over 70 noise monitoring terminals. The largest airport operator in the world, Aena is the first worldwide to provide noise data by an accredited entity such as ENAC, which is recognised in more than 90 countries, in line with the ISO regulation.
Travellers can visualise aircraft trajectories, flight identification information and airport environmental noise via a “WebTrak” interactive Noise Map, publicly available in association with the Noise Monitoring System on each airport’s website. They can also send a complaint or claim directly to the airport if any irregularity is observed or identified in the aircraft’s operating procedures.