Action plan to reactivate tourism in the city

Based on the conviction that reactivating tourism plays a key part in safeguarding jobs and kickstarting the economy, the Barcelona Tourism Consortium is implementing a plan with 44 specific actions, 23 of them to strengthen recreational, leisure and holiday tourism in the city and 21 to boost congress-related tourism. The calendar is due to run until the end of the year and the plan will be executed as demand recovers, adapting to the re-opening of borders and connectivity by air.

30/06/2020 17:38 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

In terms of recreational and holiday tourism in the city, the 23 specific actions are to be applied in four stages.

  • First stage

This will last until September and is aimed at regaining confidence based on local consumption in Barcelona and the metropolitan area. To this end, 150 companies in the sector have teamed up with Turisme de Barcelona to re-launch and promote the city among local people.

As a result of this alliance, Turisme de Barcelona is starting the ‘Viu Barcelona’ campaign with Barcelona Market Place. This online platform provides access to over 200 activities and experiences, organised by topic and product type, with more experiences and services to be added.

The platform can be accessed at or at Users can also check what is on offer and manage their reservations using the City Trips app, promoted by Turisme de Barcelona thanks to an agreement with the RACC.

The Marketplace and the app are available in four languages (Catalan, Spanish, English and French) and depending on their success they will continue beyond September.

  • Second stage

This starts in mid-July with the launch of a media campaign, basically digital and due to run until the end of the year. The campaign is intended to boost the city’s image and promote visits from domestic and local tourism, fostering access to the city by land routes and segmenting and diversifying what is available.

The campaign will promote joint marketing agreements with other cities in the Spanish state and with operators such as RENFE and Vueling, as well as strengthening collaboration with transport companies as 71.3% of visitors book their main means of transport directly with the company.

RENFE will act as a partner for promotional action by Turisme de Barcelona and the city will appear on its website, and in different communication formats in stations and inside carriages.

In addition, based on the AVE high-speed rail network between cities and within the context of the travel campaign ‘Yo viajo porque me toca’, Barcelona and Seville’s tourist boards have signed a deal to extend the campaign to the French market.

  • Third stage

This starts at the end of August or the beginning of September and is addressed at mature European markets which traditionally visit Barcelona. This should come at a point where mobility between Shengen countries and some other countries is expected to be normal again: UK (8.1%), France (7.7%), Germany (5.5%), Holland (2.3%), Italy (6.2%) the Nordic countries (2.6%) and Switzerland (6.1%).

In this more international stage, the Marketplace will be extending its product range to cater for the interests of these visitors.

  • Fourth stage

In October and November, Turisme de Barcelona will be launching a marketing campaign in collaboration with the private sector focusing on the South-East Asian market (0.6% of the share) and China (0.8%). These markets have huge travel potential, with growing economies, and with Singapore leading the way (also with Chinese New Year in mind in February 2021).

Various actions are planned at the end of the year and geared towards the North American market (11.7% of the share), including an initiative with Virtuoso, the American luxury travel agency network, and with other strategic stakeholders such as American Airlines.

An analysis of action to be carried out in 2021 will begin at this stage with a view to repositioning Barcelona on the international map and consolidating the previous stages.

Congress tourism

During the health crisis, the Barcelona Convention Bureau (BCB) maintained its activity with various virtual meetings with representatives from medical and scientific associations to generate loyalty and propose Barcelona for future congresses. This activity helped to confirm the IADR Meeting for 2025 at the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), with over 5,000 delegates; the Bio-Europe Spring for 2021 at the CCIB, with 2,500 people; a medical congress for 2023 and a cycling congress for 2021.

The BCB action plan consists of a total of 21 actions between now and the end of the year. The main element is the IBTM World 2020 in Barcelona, to be held early in December, one of the three most important fairs for congress tourism in the world and the most important post-crisis event in this sector.


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