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What have been the key factors that have brought 100 million visitors to Barcelona in the past 20 years?

In the past several years, Barcelona has become one of the preferred destinations of tourists from all over the world. The latest studies show that the capital of Catalonia is the fourth most visited city in Europe and the tenth most visited on a world scale. This path to success began with the Olympic Games of 1992 and has culminated in such outstanding facts as the worldwide success of Catalan cuisine, spearheaded by Ferran Adrià.

Now that everyone wants to come to Barcelona, at Gastournomic we examine the key factors that have brought 100 million visitors here in the past 20 years.

After the Olympic Games of 1992, the city made a place for itself alongside the major world metropolises, on the international map. It was no longer simply a Mediterranean city.

Work, expansion, and good weather

Fortunately, Barcelona is no longer represented by bull fights and Sevillian music, although a great number of tourists still ask about those things.

All things considered, the sea and the reclamation of the beach played a fundamental role in the opening up of the city. At the same time, the impressive urban transformation which created new roads and highways, and the new open spaces and new sport infrastructures, added what the Modernist city, the city of the Gothic, of Picasso, of the tradition of El Born and La Barceloneta, lacked to usher it in to full modernity.

Taking advantage of the impetus of the Olympic Games, the city worked to keep up the momentum, and “Tourism of Barcelona” was created, to stimulate its growth.

Apart from history and the work of the people of Barcelona, the city enjoys another ally indispensable for the success of tourism; the friendly climate of Southern Europe, with its not excessively hot summers and moderate winters with few rainy days; facts which guarantee a pleasant stay at any time of the year.

Available leisure activities

Barcelona currently enjoys an enviable selection of leisure and night life activities. The new shopping centres have augmented the retail arteries of old. The cultural calendar continually announces events, festivals, neighbourhood parties, and professional encounters. Barcelona is on the international chandelier and has a wide variety of hotels and hostels to respond to the growing expectancy and interest in this city.

In 2013, the figure of 700,000 visitors to conventions was reached. 600,000 visitors from around the world visited Sonar Electronic Music Festival, and 70.000 came to the Circuit Festival (International Gay & Lesbian Event).

In addition, there is the excellence of Catalan gastronomy, as represented by numerous prizes and the international recognition of our restaurants.

Finally, the latest great sporting successes of FC Barcelona allow people to recognise the name Barcelona due to sport. If we situated the visitors to the FC Barcelona museum on a list of the most visited art museums in the world, it would be number 18 on the list, with 1,600,000 visitors.

dalíDue to the great fame and prestige of the Barcelona brand, many other areas and activities that really are not geographically part of Barcelona are brought into the fold, conferring international fame on them. With time, the Catalonia brand will become famous as well, but until then the good work done in Barcelona must be taken advantage of.

Some of these cases are La Costa Brava with its gorgeous coves, or the Dalí museum, Tarragona with facilities like Port Ventura, the wineries, the Castellers, or all of the Pyrenees, with activities throughout every season of the year.

This phenomenon is made plain with the proposal of Barcelona as a candidate for the hosting of the Winter Olympic Games, although they would mostly be held in the Pyrenees; or the construction at El Camp de Tarragona of the Barcelona World Complex. Two examples of how the Barcelona brand is used to capture international public attention even for things that are outside of its territory.

The questions we must ask ourselves are the following:

Will Barcelona be able to continue on an upward trend in the tourist sector?Will the city be capable of evolving in order to offer new services and guarantee basic quality in the category of tourism?

The exponential increase in visitors in the past several years will suffer a cessation and that will be the moment to see if the city is capable of maintaining visitor interest, and getting visitors to come back for repeat stays in Barcelona.

Here at Gastournomic we will bet on improvement and offering novel experiences to the visitors to our city, offering high quality services which allow the possibility of getting to know Barcelona from other points of view, enjoying alternative activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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