Barcelona’s El Prat airport will reopen its T2 terminal on 15 June. The terminal was closed in November after months of decreased travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. Because of this, construction works began to update the facility’s baggage dropoff systems, air conditioning, security checkpoints and passenger boarding bridges, among others. Spain’s public consortium, Aena, announced in April that it planned to spend 106.5 million euros on the T2 terminal.
Health and safety measures will remain in place and only ticketed passengers will be allowed into the building, with exceptions for those who require extra assistance or, for example, for those returning rental car keys. Left reeling by the effects of Covid-19, the tourism industry hopes to make up for losses over the summer as restrictions are eased and the vaccination rollout campaign progresses.
News of the terminal’s reopening comes hours after Spain’s statistics institute, INE, released its most recent figures confirming the pandemic’s blow to the sector that usually accounts for 13% of the GDP. In April alone, Catalonia welcomed 94.4% fewer foreign tourists—94,391 people in total—than the same month two years ago. In April 2019, 1.67 million foreigners visited Catalonia.
Likewise, spending also decreased by 94.5% on April 2019: this year tourists spent 89.7 million euros in Catalonia, down from the 1,645.3 billion before the pandemic hit. Per person, spending dropped by 3.5% to 950 euros, although the average duration of trips increased to 5.22 days, up from 4.98. Catalonia, nonetheless, remains a popular destination for tourists and was Spain’s third-most visited region after Mallorca and Ibiza’s Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.