Catalonia presents its tourism offer at World Travel Market London

UK remains second largest international market for Catalonia with 1,166,900 tourists visiting from January to September

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Catalonia's stand at the World Travel Market London / Departament of Business and Work
VilaWeb / Catalan News Agency
08.11.2022 - 10:38
Actualització: 11.11.2022 - 12:36

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Catalonia is hoping to stand out at the World Travel Market in London, offering a “more ethical and innovative” way to do tourism. “We want to show the main tourist operators this new model based on a higher quality and more diverse offering, less seasonal and less concentrated geographically,” explained Marta Domènech, the general director of Turisme, the Catalan government’s tourism body. “When they think about our destination, they should think about how we are committed to regenerative tourism and that what we offer is focused in that direction,” she said.

The United Kingdom, which hosts World Travel Market London 2022 from November 7–9, continues to be the second largest international tourism market for Catalonia, with 1,166,900 tourists visiting Catalonia from the UK between January and September 2022. “Considering that after the pandemic it remains our second biggest market, it is important that we spread the word to the operators that we are in this process of change towards a more ethical and innovative tourism,” said Narcís Ferrer, director of the Catalan Tourism Agency (ACT).

Tourism officials launched the Catalan stand at the tourism fair on Monday. It consists of more than 300m2 showcasing nine Catalan tourism brands and more than twenty companies and other organizations within the Catalan tourism sector.

Food and wine tourism

Catalonia also aims to position itself as the European benchmark for food and wine tourism, with a cocktail dinner to promote Catalonia’s food and wine offering taking place on Monday evening. Aimed at the British and Catalan tourism sectors, the event will show off the potential of Catalan cuisine at the hands of four young chefs: Núria Bonet (Ca La Núria), Elisabet Nolla (Normal), Zhou Mengxin (Somiatruites) and Mariona Rodà (Catalan finalist of the European Young Chef Award 2019).

The United Kingdom has traditionally been one of the main tourism markets for Catalonia. This summer, once the travel restrictions imposed by the British government were lifted, visitor numbers to Catalonia from the UK have bounced back. “In addition to approaching pre-pandemic figures, we are seeing that this market is becoming less seasonal, as September was the month within the summer period with most British tourist arriving (211,000 tourists), whereas until now they were concentrated during the months of June, July and August,” Ferrer explained.

Average British tourist

Seven airlines operate from the United Kingdom and Ireland to Catalonia, proving access to the three Catalan airports – Barcelona-El Prat, Girona-Costa Brava and Reus – from 25 different airports.

Looking ahead to 2023, the four airlines with the most flights to Catalonia will be Ryanair, EasyJet, Vueling and British Airways. The airports that will see the most flights to Catalonia from Britain and Ireland will be London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Dublin, London Stansted and Manchester.

The average British tourist arrives in Catalonia by plane, stays for 5.8 days and spends €199 euros per day. They usually stay in hotels and mostly visit for leisure and holidays.

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