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Disturbances in Catalonia expected to take their toll on the tourism industry

Reyes Maroto (c), with Andalusian toruism authorities at the WTM.
Reyes Maroto (c), with Andalusian toruism authorities at the WTM. / S. SALAS
  • Spain's minister for Tourism, Reyes Maroto, stressed the importance of Catalan tourism

An issue affecting Spanish tourism in general is the situation of instability and violence in Catalonia following prison sentences handed to pro-independence politicians for their role in organising an illegal referendum in 2017.

Spain's acting minister for Tourism, Reyes Maroto, who visited the WTM this week, admitted that the situation is likely to have had an adverse effect on tourism in Catalonia. Exact figures to reveal the extent of the damage will not be available for another few weeks, although the final quarter of this year is expected to curb the upward trend registered during the period between January and September, which saw a 2.6% increase in visitor figures.

"We can't ignore the huge importance of Catalonia for tourism in Spain, because it accounts for a quarter of the visitors who come to our country," said the minister during her visit to the Turespaña stand.