FC Barcelona and the Government of Catalonia will promote the projection of Catalonia in the North American market, coinciding with the pre-season tour of the first men's team of the football club. Specifically, ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment and the Catalan Tourism Agency (ACT) will present the investment and meeting tourism opportunities Catalonia offers.
To attract investment and events, the government and the football club have organized two promotional events to coincide with FC Barcelona's games at Levi's Stadium in San Francisco and SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles on July 22 and 26, respectively. These events will be attended by approximately 65 managers and executives from North American multinational technology companies.
According to the Secretary for Business and Competitiveness and CEO of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, Albert Castellanos, "the United States is one of the priority countries for the government to attract new foreign investment projects: it's already Catalonia's leading investor country, and we are working to consolidate ourselves as the gateway to Europe for technological and industrial companies from this country."
Regarding meetings and events as a strategic sector that drives the economy, Castellanos emphasizes that "professional events are centers of exploration, research and talent generation, and a great way to connect with the ecosystem and industry of our country."
“The United States is Catalonia's leading investor country, and we are working to consolidate ourselves as the gateway to Europe for technological and industrial companies from this country”
Albert Castellanos, CEO of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment
Under the slogan "Color your business", the colors red, blue and yellow express the strengths of Catalonia as a land of professionals and businesses, highlighting the country's passion, talent, and creativity. Regarding this promotion in the North American market, Castellanos emphasizes that "the colors speak of a way of expressing and living a passion that permeates everything" and that "makes the business we do in this country a unique experience: we understand that playing as a team makes us more competitive and that talent makes us better." In this sense, he explains", Barça is not understood without Catalonia, and Catalonia is much better understood with Barça".
Trade relations and tourism on the rise
Regarding foreign investment, a volume of 1,370 million euros of investment by North American multinationals in Catalonia was registered in 2022, according to ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment data from the Financial Times' fDi Markets. This figure, 25% higher than in 2021, consolidates the United States as the leading country of investment in Catalonia. Recent investment announcements stand out, such as those of Cisco and MPS in the semiconductor sector or companies like Dynatrace, which announced the creation of 180 new jobs in Barcelona last week.
In 2019, the last year of regular tourist activity before the crisis, Catalonia was the leading destination for Americans in Spain, with a market share of 46% and a total of 1,511,000 tourists from this market. They also spent 320 euros per day, much more than the 197 euros spent by the average tourist in Catalonia that year. With 7.8% of arrivals in Catalonia, they accounted for 11.9% of total spending. In fact, it was the country with the highest expenditure in Catalonia, with a total of more than 2,500 million euros.
US tourists who visit Catalonia do so mainly during their vacations (89%), arrive by plane (82.5%), stay in hotels (76.4%), and have yet to buy a tourist package (68.4%). A third of them spend between 4 and 7 nights in Catalonia. It's a type of tourist with high purchasing power and is used to traveling abroad. Specifically in conference tourism, almost 95,000 Americans visited the destination for work, business, trade, fairs, or congresses, nearly 6% of the total number of travelers in this segment.