Last week Turisme de Barcelona, in collaboration with Barcelona’s City Hall, launched Check Barcelona. Barcelona has long marketed an extensive range of activities and experiences and encouraged tourists to explore Catalonia. This new app will enable visitors and residents alike to access real-time information about how busy the tourist sites are and the availability of tickets. The new app aims to prevent congestion at tourist sites and offer alternatives to visitors.
#CheckBarcelona the new App by Turisme de Barcelona allows to check the real occupancy but also to make bookings in advance. https://t.co/Y2ifHHzLaB@BarcelonaInfoEN @bcn_ajuntament @cambrabcn @TurismeDIBA @Eurecat_news pic.twitter.com/suOxrW6O4N— Barcelona Turisme (@BarcelonaInfoEN) May 11, 2021
Barcelona has long been a leader in developing ways of managing the city to benefit locals and visitors alike. They have consistently believed that Barcelona is a city open to the world for business, study and leisure tourism. Domestic and international tourists are welcome. The challenge for the city council is to manage accommodation, transport and the public realm in ways that avoid the perils of overtourism. The working paper I periodically revise with the help of the city is now in its third edition.
Turisme de Barcelona and Barcelona City Council have developed the app in partnership with the technology provider EureCat. The app provides a guide to the city and its environs with real time information about how busy public spaces, beaches, car parks and other places of interest are. The intention is to increase the degree of customer satisfaction and improve the functioning of tourist sites and attractions, particularly those that attract high volumes of visitors. The app enables a visitor or resident to check how busy some 280 sites and attractions are, book tickets, plan how to get there by public transport and find out about the safety protocols in place at each place. Beach occupancy is reported in real-time using on-site cameras to provide occupancy indicators.
As Barcelona reopens, it has taken citywide steps to limit indoor numbers to 30% in shops, amusement parks, restaurants and bars, museums, cinemas, and concert halls are limited to 50% of capacity. There are no restrictions on outdoor seating. They are expecting 46 congresses to be planned this year. 138 hotels are open, as are over 80% of Barcelona’s cultural facilities. L’Observatori del Turisme a Barcelona, the Observatory of Tourism in Barcelona, provides regularly updated information about tourism in the city invaluable for the industry, residents and visitors alike.
As Eduard Torres, CEO of the Turisme de Barcelona Executive Committee, points out “the visitor experience will be enriched and the destination will be able to interact with them…with the aid of technologies, we’ll be able to offer safer visits, provide visitors with more information and gain a better insight into changing behaviour regarding demand in order to strengthen sustainability.”
As Marian Muro explains, this is an excellent opportunity to gain competitiveness and efficiency and to promote added value. The app “is the response to visitor empowerment through technology and represents a paradigm shift in tourism. We need to provide mobility and knowledge solutions to offer distinctive, bespoke experiences that will benefit a more sustainable tourism.”