77% of the participants in one of the congresses held in Barcelona last year had already been to the city before. And not once or twice, but an average of six times. After the stoppage forced by the pandemic, during 2022 more than 400 congresses were held in Barcelona, a figure very similar to that of 2019 and which has been more than consolidated so far this year. The average cost of the congressmen, without counting accommodation, registration and travel, amounts to 112 euros per day.
Taking into account that the average stay in the city is almost five nights, the cost of each congressman, including accommodation, stands at 1,205 euros (not counting travel and registration, which in seven out of ten cases is paid by a company or institution ). In the distribution of this expense, which exceeds the average spent by tourists by 33%, restaurants take the largest share. The food bill represents 64.5%, followed by shopping (14.2%), transport (11.7%) and entertainment (7.5%).
These are some of the data collected in the survey commissioned by Turisme de Barcelona to map a visitor profile that they want to promote. The study also confirms the weight of the Barcelona brand, contrasted by the high knowledge that the participants of these events have of a city that they have already visited. "Organizing a congress in the city means having 15% more registered participants, which encourages us to work more and more with all the actors involved in the organization," says Eduard Torres, president of Turisme de Barcelona.
Almost half of the congressmen are between 31 and 45 years old, with which the average age stands at 43.6 years. Two out of three are men and by place of origin, 27.7% of congress attendees are nationals, 43.5% come from the rest of the European Union and 17% from the rest of the world.
By country of residence, Germany leads the list (9.4%) followed by the United Kingdom (7.8%), France (7%), the Netherlands (5.6%) and Italy (4.2%). The first non-European country is the United States, which contributes almost 3% of the attendees, followed by Brazil (1.6%) and Colombia (1%). The study reflects that people who come from outside Europe and those who are older are the ones who spend the most on average.
Other relevant aspects of the congressmen's stay in the city is that 80% plan to visit it. “They come to the city for professional reasons, but they represent a very interesting profile due to the diversification of attractions, since they are normally repeaters and their interests escape from the great icons, so they are more interested in the cultural, gastronomic and creative fabric of the city”, insists the Councilor for Tourism and Creative Industries, Xavier Marcé.
Regarding their degree of satisfaction, the location of the city and the gastronomy are the most valued aspects; and the value for money, both in restaurants and shops, is the worst valued, although in all cases the note (out of five) is four points or more. 85% of congress attendees stay in hotels, while another trend that has been consolidated is increasingly last-minute reservations. Four out of ten booked between one and three months in advance, and 32% did so with less than a month to go.