Foreign tourism returns to Barcelona but Spanish reserves fall, according to Wimdu

Catalonia (Spain) has returned to occupancy levels of holiday apartments prior to October 1, 2017 by international tourists, although it has not been able to recover the same figures in the case of visitors from other autonomous regions of Spain, according to data from the private apartment rental platform Wimdu.

One year of the referendum on independence in Catalonia has been completed and the data in the tourism sector continue to experience strong ups and downs, at least in the case of national tourism.

If in the rest of the regions, the reservations of Spanish guests represent around 60% of the total of the reservations made through Wimdu, the situation has changed significantly within Catalonia.

Before the referendum, Spanish tourists were, by far, the largest group of visitors to Wimdu in Barcelona. However, after October 1, the city lost around a quarter of the Spaniards who came to the city staying in the collaborative economy sector. Thus, the number of Spanish guests registered through Wimdu in Barcelona is currently lower than that of German and Italian visitors.

According to Wimdu, the reason for this specific decrease in Barcelona is not only related to the referendum. The decline of Barcelona among Spanish tourists is also the result of protests against tourists in the city that began in the summer of 2017, as well as administrative regulations against collaborative economy platforms.

Outside of Barcelona, ​​the reservations of Spaniards in other Catalan destinations have remained more stable and with fewer falls, and even some destinations have gained a share.

This is the case of Girona, whose city is hosting new tourists who had previously planned to stay in Barcelona, ​​experiencing a 664% growth in the holiday apartment reserves of September. Also, Lloret de Mar has scored one of the biggest increases, since reserves have grown by 281%.


In August and September of 2017, the participation of Catalonia in the Wimdu reserves in Spain fell much more than expected. The turismofobia and the tragic attacks of August 17 could explain this decline, as indicated from Wimdu.

However, October was the month in which the most alarms jumped inside the tourist rental. Right after the referendum, the decrease in reserves became even more evident.

If the average quota of Catalonia of the reserves among Spanish tourists used to be 18% in October, in 2017 it fell to 11%. Among foreign tourists the decrease was more abrupt, since the share of Catalonia went from 40% to 28%.

One year after the referendum, and after the analysis of summer reservations, the behavior of foreign tourists seems to have returned to normal. Even the reservations of tourists from other countries in August of this year are quite similar to the time before the referendum, ie 46.9%, even surpassing previous years, when the August quota in 2016 stood in 46.8%.