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 shutdown forced by the pandemic, more than 400 conferences were held in Barcelona in 2022, a figure very similar to that of 2019 and which has more than consolidated since the beginning of the year. The average expenditure of congress participants, excluding 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 expenditure of each congressperson including accommodation is 1,205 euros (not counting travel and registration, which in seven out of ten cases a company or institution). In the distribution of this expenditure, which exceeds by 33% the average of what tourists spend, restaurants take the biggest profit. 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 by the survey commissioned by Turisme de Barcelona to map a visitor profile that wants to be enhanced. The study also confirms the weight of the Barcelona brand, contrasted by the high level of knowledge that the participants of these events have of a city 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, so the average age is 43.6 years. Two out of three are men, and by place of origin, 27.7% of the delegates 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 tops 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 congressmen; Brazil (1.6%), and Colombia (1%). The study shows that people who come from outside Europe and those who are older are the ones who spend the most on average.
"They come to the city for professional reasons, but they represent a very interesting profile due to the diversification of attractions, since they are usually repeaters and their interests are not so related to the great icons, they are more interested in the cultural, gastronomic and creative of the city", insists the Councilor for Tourism and Creative Industries, Xavier Marcé.
Regarding the degree of satisfaction, the location of the city and gastronomy is the most highly rated aspect, and the quality-price ratio, both in restaurants and in commerce, the most poorly rated, although in all cases the grade (out of five) is four points or more. 85% of conference attendees stay in hotels and another trend that has become established is the increasing number of last-minute reservations. Four out of ten booked between one and three months in advance, and 32% booked with less than a month to go.