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Overnight hotel stays by foreign tourists in the Spanish state fell by 0.6% in July compared to the same month last year, but in Catalonia, the trend was the opposite, with a 2.4% rise, according to data released by Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE).

Catalonia was the second favourite destination in the Spanish state for visitors not resident in Spain with 21.5%, behind the Balearic Islands with 34.7% of total overnight hotel stays, although the islands have fallen 1.6% with respect to July last year. By contrast, the Canary Islands are the Spanish region which has suffered the most according to this tourism indicator, with a 4.4% drop.

In addition, Catalonia is the third favourite destination for Spaniards with 13.9% of total overnight stays, registering a 3.1% improvement in its annual figure. The top two places were occupied in July by Andalusia (24.4%) and the Valencian Country (14.9%). In total, there were 8,151,022 overnight stays in Catalonia hotels, of which 6,092,505 were by foreign residents and 2,058,517 by residents of Spain.

In addition, the average hotel occupancy in Catalonia stood at 74%, above the Spanish average of 71%. And throughout Spain, overall hotel overnight stays rose by 1.1%, to over 43.2 million, with the fall in foreign tourists being balanced by a large rise in overnight stays by people from other parts of Spain.