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America’s Cup Barcelona 2024

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From August to the end of October 2024, Barcelona will host the 37th America’s Cup, one of the world’s most followed sporting events. Over 1,5 billion people from 190 countries will turn their eyes to the sea and beaches of Barcelona, the stage where the world’s best sailing teams will compete.

The 2024 America’s Cup represents a great opportunity for Catalonia’s projection. The event transcends the sports realm to embrace other key aspects of our current society and economy, such as innovation, high-quality tourism, and environmental and social sustainability. The Catalan Tourism Board of the Generalitat de Catalunya, together with Tourism of Barcelona, the Barcelona Provincial Council, and the Barcelona Capital Nàutica Foundation, have launched a series of initiatives with the America’s Cup Barcelona 2024 as the central focus.

The aim is to promote the destination among key influencers and sailing and nautical enthusiasts in various source markets, especially in those countries whose teams will be competing in the regatta, such as the English, French, Swiss, American, and Italian markets, all considered strategic. In this regard, presentations have been made in Los Angeles at the annual congress of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), aboard the iconic Cutty Sark in London, at the Grand Pavois La Rochelle boat show in France, at The Bicester Collection in New York, and at Feeling Food in Milan, among others.

Likewise, there has been promotional presence at major European tourism fairs (Fitur, WTM…) and nautical shows (Boot, Barcelona Boat Show). A significant communication campaign has also been carried out on various digital platforms and television channels of the Warner Bros Discovery group, such as Eurosport.

Catalonia and the Nautical Tradition

Nautical tourism has always been prominent in Catalonia, which boasts 45 ports along its coastline. Nautical tourism is associated with a type of visitor who enjoys active holidays in contact with water, engaging in recreational or sports-related water activities (sea, river, or lake) that involve enjoying nature in this environment. The more competitive aspect of nautical activities is considered a strategic product because it helps to spread tourist activity throughout the year, shift visitors to less developed tourist areas, diversify activities, and increase spending in the region, as it attracts high-quality visitors.

Many companies in Catalonia offer nautical experiences, both along the coastline and in the country’s main rivers and reservoirs. Currently, there are 570 companies associated with the seven Catalan nautical stations, with a turnover in 2021 of 320 million euros. Most of these companies are in the catering, hospitality, and services sectors. These are small businesses that typically employ between 4 and 6 workers and have an average annual turnover of 600,000 euros.

This event provides a significant opportunity for Catalonia to consolidate its position as a global reference for sports tourism. And not only as a venue for hosting major international events but also as a host for enthusiasts and clubs (such as nautical clubs) seeking high-quality facilities for practicing various sports.

Preliminary Regatta in Vilanova i La Geltrú

Vilanova i la Geltrú hosted the first preliminary regatta of the 37th edition of the America’s Cup from September 14 to 17, 2023. It was a preview of what will be seen a year later, this time along the Barcelona seafront.

The 6 teams participating in the competition (Emirates Team New Zealand, INEOS Britannia, Alinghi Red Bull Racing, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, NYYC American Magic, Orient Express Racing Team) took part in this preliminary regatta, which was based at the historic Port of Vilanova i la Geltrú, where around 20.000 people gathered.

The racecourse was located along the seafront promenade of Ribes Roges beach, very close to the shore, thus offering a privileged view of the competition. The public was able to enjoy the event from two locations: the port square and Ribes Roges beach itself, where giant screens were set up and recreational activities related to the competition were organized.

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