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The tourism sector in Catalonia is gradually experiencing a recovery, although the data indicate that 2022 has received 29% fewer visitors than in 2019.
The forecast shows that approximately 8 million passengers will pass through Catalan airports this summer, twice as many as in 2021. These data come with the trend of improvement, as today we can still feel some of the post-pandemic after-effects.
Tourism accounts for 12% of Catalonia’s GDP and generates more than 21,000 million euros in direct spending. In addition, the hospitality sector employs 14% of the Catalan workforce.
Catalonia, and in particular Barcelona, is one of the world’s leading tourist destinations, and, logically, mass tourism has become a mainstay of the local economy, but right now it poses a current concern: pollution from flights and cruises, precarious working conditions in the hotel industry, overcrowding and gentrification in fashionable areas.
The solution to this major problem is regenerative tourism, rather than sustainable tourism, as it improves the place visited rather than keeping it the same.
Marta Domènech, director of the Catalan Tourism Agency, added that they are working to achieve this: “We want to give visitors what they are looking for,” she said. “Quality tourism, more diversified, not so seasonal, not so concentrated in certain parts of the territory.