City Spotlight: Barcelona

Barcelona is one of Spain’s cultural and economic gems, and it’s helping to slowly but surely revive the Spanish economy, which has been through a rather turbulent period. Madrid, in the centre of the country, might be Spain’s capital and where its financial centre lies, while the south of Spain is where the tourists have historically flocked to. However, Barcelona can certainly give both of these regions a run for its money. If you don’t already, here’s what you need to know about business in Barca…

  • The economy is on the up in the Catalonian region, with the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce claiming in February that the region’s GDP would grow by 2.5% in 2015, this follows a 1.3% growth in 2014. The region in 2014 had a better performance than that of Spain as a whole.
  • The car manufacturing industry is a major contributor to the economy of the wider Barcelona area. Spain’s own SEAT is headquartered here, which in 2014 oversaw the production of 442,677 cars. The demand for models such as the León helped to push production up by 13.5%, its highest level for 12 years. This demand for production also helped to create 800 temporary positions, 350 of which turned to permanent roles.[i] Nissan also has a manufacturing plant in the area, and announced in 2013 that it would aim to produce 80,000 new cars per year helping to create 1,000 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs.[ii]
  • Barcelona is increasingly growing as a fashion and style capital. Its amazing architecture has always been indicative of its trend setting ability and this is increasingly more so translating into the fashion world. In 2014, it was named fifth in The Global Language Monitor’s rankings of global fashion capitals and the top for swimwear. The company also estimates that the fashion industry employs 100,000 people in the Barcelona region, generating revenues of €13 billion per year.


  • The Fira de Barcelona is one the world’s leading conference venues and plays host to over 70 trade shows. These shows combined have helped to attract over 2.5 million visitors, but more importantly they’ve helped to contribute more than €2.5 billion to Barcelona’s economy. Mobile World Congress (MWC) and the International Motor Show to name but a few take place in its spacious halls.[iii] MWC 2015 alone is estimated to have created an economic impact of €436 million.[iv]
  • Businesses based or headquartered in Barcelona include Chupa Chups, S.A. Damm, the parent company of Estrella Damm beer, low-cost airline Vueling, SEAT and fashion brands Mango, Massimo Dutti and Desigual.
  • The city attracts nearly eight million tourists a year making Barcelona one of the most popular destinations in Europe.[v] Las Ramblas, La Sagrada Familia and Museu Picasso are a few of the city’s delightful attractions.
  • Fútbol goes hand in hand with the city and is one of its key attractions, playing host to perhaps the most star studded and famous team in the world; FC Barcelona. Forbes estimates that it has revenue of $627 million placing it second globally only to its great rival Real Madrid.  Its stadium, Camp Nou, is the largest in Europe with a capacity of 100,000 and the Camp Nou Experience (which includes a tour of the stadium, museum and multimedia space) is the third most visited attraction in Spain.[vi]

Did you know?

  • Legends abound regarding the founding of the city. One states it was founded 400 years before Rome by Hercules, the other says it was founded by Hamilcar Barca in the 3rd century. Which one to believe?[vii]
  • Barcelona is the only city to receive a Royal Gold Medal for architecture. The Royal Institute of British Architects awarded this on behalf of Queen Elizabeth in 1999 for the influence the city’s architecture has had around the world.
  • The city’s Montjuic Park is the largest in Spain.[viii]
  • The city has 12 abandoned metro stations, many of which are believed to be haunted.[ix]
  • Now here’s a crazy fact for you, Barcelona didn’t have any beaches until 1992! The city’s coast used to be dominated by industries but when it came to host the Olympic Games in 1992, it was decided to make the coastline a place of leisure for tourists and residents.

If your business isn’t based in Barcelona, but you’d like a virtual presence there today by acquiring a local 93 number, then let us know – we’re here to help.

[i] Catalan News Agency,
[ii] Reuters,
[iii] Fira Barcelona,
[iv] Catalan News Agency,
[v] Catalan News Agency,
[vi] FC Barcelona,
[vii] Nile Guide,
[viii] Iberica Travel,
[ix] Apartime,

This entry was posted in General and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.