Barcelona’s ideal location, situated along the blissful and serene Mediterranean attracts tourists across the globe. With an estimated 32 million visitors in 2016, of that figure an estimated half were only in town for the day, there is something to be said regarding the cities rise in popularity. What draws these tourist to Barcelona, a lively metropolitan destination in the north of Spain? The weather, beautiful coastline, exquisite architecture, events, food, and Mediterranean lifestyle of course.
1. Barceloneta Beach
This is the prime destination in Barcelona during the summer time. Nestled next to the barrio that shares its name, La Barceloneta, this stretch of sand is bustling full of bars, restaurants, recreational activities, and entertainment. There is no wonder that hordes of tourists and locals alike are drawn to this energetic and lively stretch of sand. A popular spot to sip sangria or indulge in fresh seafood, there is no want for indulgences. If you are into sports, try stand up paddle surfing, windsurfing or riding bikes along the boardwalk. Conveniently located near the center of town and public transportation, this beach is an ideal break-away from the city’s other main cultural attractions.
2. Nova Icaria Beach
Nova Icaria, a little up the coastline from Barceloneta, but only a short walk, is a much more peaceful and relaxed choice in Barcelona. It is perfect for families, couples, recreation junkies and culinary critics. With an assortment of bars and restaurants to choose from, your taste buds will no doubt be tantalized. For those looking to be energetically engaged, Nova Icaria is one of the most eclectically equipped beaches. With a gaming area, complete with ping-pong tables and sand volleyball courts, there are numerous ways to get your sweat on. Maybe pump some iron or get a full workout at the open-air gym. Its proximity to Olympic park is also unique.
3. Ocata Beach
Looking for a bit more privacy and seclusion, travel just north of town, approximately a half-hour by train and arrive at Ocata Beach, a long and wide stretch of white sand that is sure to please those looking for a tranquil hideaway. The beach is spacious, attracting fewer crowds than those located near the city center, yet still boasts a wide variety of chringuitos for your dining pleasure.
4. Bogatell Beach
Bogatell beach was part of a rejuvenation effort orchestrated by the city as an urban planning project incorporating the 600 meter stretch of white sandy beach into lush green spaces, and gardens. The result was a clean, safe destination for locals and tourists. One of the more appreciated beaches, it is one of the smaller in the city and attracts an older, more mature crowd. If you want to steer away from the crowds and find a little more towel space, this is the spot for you.
5. Castelldefels Beach
A short, 35-minute train ride south of the city, accessible by the rural line, you will find a long, wide stretch of soft, luscious sand and picture perfect bars, restaurants and bungalows featuring an assortment of cocktails to gelato. Flat and pristine, this beach is ideal for those that want to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city living. It is slightly more affordable for those hungry for sun, water sports and a glass of cava beachside. Step into town for a more Catalan experience, partaking in local delicacies from tapas bars to high-end dining.
Tourism is by far the largest economic contributor to the hospitality industry in Barcelona, and among the largest industries in the world, with a reported gross GDP of 10.2% globally in 2016 ($7.6 trillion). The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors, supporting 292 million people with employment.i Globalization and new technologies have created new touristic opportunities for consumers, but also caused global competition among providers and tourist destinations.
The Master in Tourism Management program offered at GBSB Global Business School in Barcelona offers advanced insights into the tourism market and provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the industry in one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain and in Europe – Barcelona! GBSB Global offers opportunities to take advantage of internships with major, world renown hotel chains, restaurants, travel agencies and more.
A considerable part of the program focuses on developing employability and the necessary skills and competencies to be competitive on the worldwide stage. Students graduating from the Master in Tourism and Hospitality Management program benefit from Barcelona’s draw as a summertime destination for Northern Europeans seeking out the sun and sand along the Mediterranean. There is no better place to position yourself. Take advantage of the wealth of networking opportunities and professional conferences hosted by the city every year.
Since hosting the Olympic Games in 1992, Barcelona has seen steady growth in tourist numbers. Today, Barcelona offers fantastic hotel infrastructure, highly developed tourism services and a diverse selection of programs and events to promote the city as a tourist destination.
Considering earning your degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management? Look no further. Enjoy small class sizes, a curriculum taught entirely in English and a wonderfully diverse student body at GBSB Global. Engage in the wealth of opportunities Barcelona has to provide and revel in the magnificence the city has to offer. Study along the Mediterranean and prepare yourself for an international career in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Content Manager
[i] Economic Impact Analysis. World Travel & Tourism Council. Retrieved from www.wttc.org/research/economic-research/economic-impact-analysis