Barcelona is back to Europe >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

With the America’s Cup moved from its “home” at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland to the coast of northeastern Spain, and purists having had their opportunity to vent from this break of tradition, broad daylight can now shine on the modern era of the oldest international competition.

He who has the gold makes the rules, and he who holds the America’s Cup sees it for far more than a “perpetual challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countries“. This event is an economic engine, and the latest buyer is Barcelona.

This is about post-pandemic tourism, and despite local resentment for being the fourth most visited European city, government officials are all in.

According to figures from Turisme de Barcelona, the body responsible for tourism, the economic recovery of the sector is getting closer and closer, standing at 75% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Turisme de Barcelona forecasts that the city’s hotels will register an occupancy rate of 70% this Easter.

With the aim of strengthening the city’s international projection and giving a final push to its recovery, Turisme de Barcelona will begin a tour of Europe next week to reposition the city in European markets, which account for around 65% of the city’s international tourism. 83% of the visitors Barcelona receives are international.

“In markets where there is a high level of repetition, such as Europe, it is important to present new attractive products,” highlighted the general director of Turisme de Barcelona, Marian Muro when presenting the tour, which has as its slogan “Barcelona is back to Europe”.

Muro also pointed out that the war in Ukraine has changed the consumer habits of European tourists. “Last-minute bookings are becoming more and more frequent and the activities to be held in the city are also not taken in advance,” she explained.

Among the major attractions that Barcelona wants to promote to attract tourism are the America’s Cup 2024, which is being viewed as one of the most important sporting events with the greatest media and economic impact in the world.

Also to be emphasized is its designation as world capital of architecture in 2026, the Manifesta 2024 Art Biennial, its museums, and its important position as a technology and innovation hub.

On the other hand, Turisme de Barcelona also wants to target the U.S. market, promoting quality tourism with gastronomy and culture as attractions, in addition to selling itself to companies as a venue for the organization of conferences and congresses.

As for the 37th edition in 2024, long live George L. Schuyler’s vision from 1887, and that current trustees don’t screw it all up.

Following the publication of the AC37 Protocol and AC75 Class Rule on November 17, 2021, the AC75 Class Rule and AC Technical Regulations were finalized on March 17, 2022. The entry period opened December 1, 2021 and runs until July 31, 2022, but late entries for the 37th America’s Cup may be accepted until May 31, 2023. The Defender was to announce the Match Venue on September 17, 2021 but postponed the venue reveal, confirming it would be Barcelona on by March 30, 2022.

Teams revealed to challenge defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
• INEOS Britannia (GBR)
• Alinghi Red Bull Racing (SUI)
• Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team (ITA)
• NYYC American Magic (USA)