Travel intention to Barcelona drops among its main origin markets

Barcelona loses competitiveness among the main European markets in the first quarter of 2018, according to the data analysed by Mabrian’s Travel Intelligence platform.

The events that took place in the Catalan capital during the second semester of 2017 have affected tourists when it comes to choosing it as a holiday destination. The Islamic attacks on 17th August in Barcelona and Cambrils and, later on, the political instability as a result of the independence referendum on 1st October, have affected the city’s security perception.

The analysis of over 147 millions mentions on Social Network though Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence technologies have allowed Mabrian to understand perceptions in terms of security and travel intention related to Barcelona. These dynamics have been identified, measured and compared for the main markets of the Catalan capital.

The most affected origin market is Germany. Barcelona was placed in the 20th position in terms of travel intention as a holiday destination in 2017, while in the first quarter of 2018 it dropped 10 positions, down to the 30th position.

Its security perception index (PSi) suffered considerable fluctuations during the second half of 2017, as a result of the aforementioned events. During the first months of 2018, nevertheless, the PSi recovered and reached almost the same level as the previous year.

The same behaviour pattern is seen from the French origin market. The Catalan capital’s position in terms of travel intention among this group drops to the 13th place in the first quarter 2018, 4 positions below the one it had during the same dates in 2017.

For British and Italian tourists, Barcelona loses 2 positions in terms of travel intention from the first quarter of 2017. The security perception, however, behaves in an unequal way between these two markets: it drops around 3 points for Brits whereas for Italians it increases ever so slightly.

The security perception from the national market is 75.3 points (3 points lower than in 2017), but Barcelona remains the second city in terms of travel intention.

With regards to tourist satisfaction with the tourist product, a general drop is seen in all markets. National visitors are the ones who give the worst rating related to the tourist product (61.16 TPi, over 6 points below the first quarter of 2017). For the Germans, the tourist offer has also not been as satisfactory as the previous year, with a drop in rating of over 7 points.

This knowledge offers destination or tourist business managers valuable information to explore how different events affect their different markets, and how this directly impacts the potential clients’ purchase intention. Not all markets react the same way to the same circumstances, so knowing concrete sensitivity allows to act more accurately and communicate more effectively to recover the desirable image as soon as possible.