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Foreign visitors (annual series 2004-2015). Tourists and other visitors. By origin

Foreign visitors (annual series 2004-2015). Tourists and other visitors. By origin Catalonia. 2015
Value Variation (%)
Tourists Excursionists and in transit Total visitors Tourists Excursionists and in transit Total visitors
Total 19,260.6 14,088.7 33,349.3 5.2 -1.4 2.3
Germany 1,566.4 170.1 1,736.6 -7.2 28.6 -4.6
Belgium and Holland 1,607.0 159.9 1,766.8 0.2 107.0 5.1
France 5,128.0 11,353.6 16,481.6 7.8 0.3 2.5
Italy 1,116.8 518.5 1,635.3 2.4 -3.4 0.5
United Kingdom 1,959.6 307.8 2,267.4 4.9 52.0 9.5
Nordic countries 755.5 159.3 914.8 5.1 -29.5 -3.1
Switzerland 486.5 79.4 565.9 14.3 -17.7 8.4
Other countries 6,641.0 1,340.0 7,981.0 7.8 -21.4 1.5
Units: Thousands.
Source: Idescat, based on data from the survey Frontur by the Instituto de Estudios Turísticos (IET).
Note: It considers information of trips of foreign visitors whose main or secondary destination is Catalonia.
Foreign visitors (annual series 2004-2015). Tourists and other visitors. By origin Spain. 2015
Value Variation (%)
Tourists Excursionists and in transit Total visitors Tourists Excursionists and in transit Total visitors
Total 68,215.2 41,549.3 109,764.5 5.0 -1.6 2.4
Germany 10,294.0 1,069.3 11,363.3 -1.2 0.6 -1.0
Belgium and Holland 5,221.9 633.6 5,855.5 5.7 7.8 5.9
France 11,552.7 23,787.4 35,340.0 9.0 -3.4 0.3
Italy 3,916.1 1,249.3 5,165.4 6.4 16.4 8.6
United Kingdom 15,724.4 1,598.9 17,323.3 4.8 10.8 5.4
Nordic countries 4,992.8 75.2 5,068.0 -1.0 -55.6 -2.8
Switzerland 1,779.2 316.2 2,095.5 9.0 5.4 8.5
Other countries 14,734.1 12,819.4 27,553.5 8.2 -0.9 3.7
Units: Thousands.
Source: Institute of Tourism Statistics (ITS). Frontur Survey.

Last update: March 31, 2016.


These statistics have a specific section with all the information available: Statistics on Foreign Tourism (TUREST).

Methodological note

Statistics are drawn up on trips made by foreign tourists in order to quantify and describe flows of visitors to Catalonia, and also to find out about declared expenditure by tourists.

Until the third quarter of 2015 data are obtained from the Survey of Tourism Movements at Borders (Frontur) produced by the Institute of Tourism Statistics (ITS). From the fourth quarter of 2015 on, the INE carries out the Frontur survey.

Using the restricted access databases provided by ITS, Idescat expands the results with a greater disaggregation of the variable for Catalonia. Provides annual information of the tourists for country of origin, for the trips of the main destination and secondary destination to Catalonia. Main destination is the most significant place visited during the trip with the highest number of overnight stays. Moreover, the information referring to tourists is classified by different variables: accommodation, reason for the trip, country of residence and type of transport.

Frontur is a continuous monthly survey which uses a mixed data gathering system. It uses administrative registers for all types of transport used, takes a manual count at border points and carries out sample-based surveys at entry and exit points in Spain. This statistical operation generates information about the number of travellers and the number of overnight stays.

Tourist means a traveller who makes an overnight stay, while tripper means a traveller who does not make an overnight stay. The sum of tourists and trippers (including through travellers) is the total number of visitors.

The arrival of tourists gather the number of people that do one or more overnight stays in a row in the same accommodation. Overnight stay means a night spent away from the habitual residence.

In March 2009 Idescat began to use a new estimate methodology. Data for 2006, 2007 and 2008 have been revised as the Frontur data include methodological changes. These changes enhance the estimates of data for travellers who come to Spain through ports and by road (coaches). All other access routes (airport, train and light vehicles on roads) are not affected by the changes.

In February 2011, the data from 2009 to 2010 was modified because it included records of foreign tourists arriving in Catalonia. The data on tourists and excursionists published since 2009 is therefore not directly comparable with the previous data.

According to the IET's methodological criteria, publication of the series on overnight stays by foreigners has been discontinued, so data is only offered in reference to travellers.

In January 2014 the IET incorporated cruise travellers into the Frontur statistics and expanded the information on train travellers. The coverage of travellers who come to Catalonia was thereby increased.

As for cruises, foreign cruise travellers in transit (in other words, those who, once they reach port, continue on their cruise) are regarded as international travellers. As for trains, the railway flows with France have been redesigned, giving more weight to high-speed train journeys and removing routes which are no longer in operation.

We must advert also that the results provided by the Idescat can present differences with other sources as a consequence of the differences in methodological criteria that exist in the moment of elaborating the data.

The data for Catalonia is always provisional. The data for Spain is definitive, except the last year.

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