Barcelona ties up the ‘premium’ tourist in the Middle East and the US

  • The promotional strategy will focus these months on active markets, with international mobility and a high vaccination rate, but targeting specific traveler segments

“The visitor from countries of the Persian Gulf It is urban and family-oriented, it is used to hiring its vacations online, it stays in 4 and 5-star hotels and among the aspects that most attract them, the interest in culture, shopping, sporting events, leisure and medical tourism stands out “. Barcelona Tourism reports. The profile could already be a candy for any city looking for the tourist reactivation aspiring to quality travelers, and not mere sun and beach. But in this case, the Catalan capital has the advantage of being considered a city ‘muslim friendly’ (friend of Muslims), while the countries in the area stand out for a very high immunization rate of the covid-19 and its high predisposition to travel abroad from now on. This desirable market is one of the big goals of the period of international promotion that Barcelona is resuming with force, but à la carte, thanks to the good health data.

Opening selected ‘catchment’ fronts is the great bet of the tourist consortium to 2022, at a time when all economic sectors are demanding international promotion campaigns, which the city council itself – so reluctant at other times – already considers essential. After many years with the feeling that numerically there could be more than enough travelers, it is time to go for them (this September, the city had 42.3% fewer people staying in hotels and 29.9% in tourist flats compared to 2019, according to the latest data) but choosing as far as possible to enhance the more convenient markets. In this way, the activity is not left in a mere inertia (with the risk that some operators point only to the war of low prices and tourism also ‘low cost’), but rather quality is advocated before quantity, and thus it will be approached from different fronts. It is a movement in line with the ideology presented last week by the Barcelona Global association.

Coveted Segments

For the CEO of Tourism of Barcelona, ​​Marian Muro, the city targets segments that also have many other ‘boyfriends’, but it has the advantage of having put the rest in recent times in the technological innovation and digitization as tools. Hence the good reception at the recent fair London World Trade Market -the most important in the world for the sector together with IBT Berlin- of its program Workation, for travelers with a longer stay and with a vocation as teleworkers. And from the App Check Barcelona that works as a guide with real-time operation on the occupation and availability of public facilities and spaces, which allows managing the flow of travelers and fighting against the dreaded overcrowding that ends up killing destinations with success.

In London there have been forced absences this edition, but Barcelona has done its homework and has opened the season to attract that traveler who is looking for a urban destination and not just vacation. In the coming months, this market will be affected with actions in Birmingham, Manchester, London, Edinburgh and others. There are also conversations with airlines to open new routes, always with a promotional argument based on culture, gastronomy, architecture, shopping and leisure, above all. Muro recalls that English will travel more motivated by ‘shopping’ when enjoying ‘tax free’, but you don’t want that to be the only argument. The city is already offering ‘fam trips’, guided tours for operators, agencies and prescribers, where specific aspects of the city and its surroundings are shown, from attractive wine tourism excursions to wineries and exclusive locations, to immersive experiences in the field of art. , for instance.

In the case of Persian Gulf, Turismo de Barcelona has been the first consortium for the promotion of marketing and promotion to visit the area, they highlight. The initiative was part of the trip organized by Turispaña, with 11 tourist entities and companies from different autonomous communities. The goals were to win over holiday and business visitors from Saudi Arabia and Dubai, create business platforms and increase the offer of travel packages for Barcelona. The consortium has maintained its own agenda of meetings and actions, highlights Mateo Asensio, Director of Promotion, That led to the feeling that it is a market very interested in the Catalan capital and that it will bear fruit in 2022. Several ‘fam trips’ will be organized very soon, he advances.

In the case of Saudi Arabia, perhaps with more cultural interests due to their own historical heritage, they perceive more interest in the cultural aspect of Barcelona, ​​in addition to the high spending on purchases that defines this traveler, who also loves the idea of ​​shopping in open spaces, accustomed to ‘malls ‘closed because of the weather. This latter motivation is even more evident for visitors to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where the campaign has also arrived. For all of them, the medical tourism, health and welfare is also a plus, being the Catalan capital among its references. For this reason, we want to resume the specific promotion program in this area, which was developed years ago. “It is a tourism that spends six times more than leisure”, highlights Muro. In fact, patients arrive for operations that later settle for a time in the city for their recovery. Another key vein for these issuers is the Barça, both for parties and to visit their facilities.

Uncertainties and markets

These markets, due to their significant level of vaccination, are now strategic, compared to others that remain in ‘stand by’ due to the pandemic, such as Russia. Muro also believes that the Chinese and Southeast Asia will still have to wait until 2023, given the conditions of the pandemic and air connections.

By cons, that of USA it has just reopened and Barcelona has all eyes on it. To begin with, in the coming weeks on a trip with the Agència Catalana de Turisme to the east coast, where New York and Miami will be visited, with initiatives aimed at specific segments within premium tourism, from the LGTBI, even an innovator ‘market place’ (online product platform) specific to the Jewish community who wants to visit Barcelona, ​​Asensio advances. In early 2022, Turismo de Barcelona will undertake intensive action on the west coast, which it had to cancel last fall due to the overseas coronavirus data.

In this deployment, based on the optimization of resources in times of uncertainty, the national market continues to be an open challenge, which will be addressed again this December with the big christmas shopping campaign which is being finalized to attract Spaniards from other communities and Europeans from neighboring countries. Barcelona will amplify its festive ornamentation, as the merchants claim, and this should serve to position the city as a destination for those dates.

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Profile of the British and American Traveler

Although many associate the tourist British with revelries, youth and excesses, that is only a small (and unwanted) part of this market, second in volume for Barcelona, ​​since it represents 6.7% of all visitors. 55.5% repeat visits, so it is open to new activities and programs. Their average age is 36.6 years and they almost always arrive by plane, generally as a couple, with an average stay of six days. His 480 euros of average spending during the visit goes mainly in gastronomy. What they value the most in the Catalan capital is architecture, although they give a 9.7 to the city as a whole. According to Google searches, at the moment it is one of the most motivated markets to travel to Barcelona.

In the case of USA, which is usually on the podium of local travelers together with the United Kingdom and France, it is the main long-distance issuing market, and in 26.3% of cases it repeats its visit. His spending in the city is 724.8 euros, he has an average of 41 years and comes as a couple, and the reason is usually for leisure or holidays, with an average stay of five nights. In this case, he stays in hotels and usually manages his own reservations.

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