How is Barcelona perceived abroad, beyond the usual tourist tropes? According to the study Barcelona in the eyes of the world 2018, which updates an earlier study from 2011, its international image is a good one: it is seen as a city where one can live, invest and innovate, with a rising reputation for business, creativity, technology, biology and the digital industry.

Carried out by Summa, a consultancy specialising in brand analysis, the study gathered the opinions of over 3,000 people in Europe, North America and Asia, including city residents, foreign journalists and business leaders and experts in city branding. It also carried out a qualitative analysis of 240,000 Twitter conversations about Barcelona, Amsterdam, Singapore and Miami.

Positive perception

The city of beaches, food, Gaudí and Barça and the main tourist attractions coexists alongside the diversified, attractive city of innovation. The other side of the coin is the mass tourism, petty crime and insecurity, and such negative aspects as the lack of financial incentives or excessive bureaucracy. Even so, the threat of terrorism and the political situation of Catalonia have had a noticeable impact on the positive perception of Barcelona abroad. The idea of a city of innovation is also positively influenced by events such as the MWC Barcelona.

Barcelona holds a privileged position among those defined in the study as “restless urbanites”. These men and women are between 18 and 49, travel extensively for both leisure and business, are fascinated by technological advances, biotechnology and culture, support entrepreneurship and have faith in the future.

Brand Barcelona. This is the situation, and within the context of the Mobile World Congress, in which Barcelona City Council has presented the new international brand for promoting the city: it is Always Barcelona, which aims to look beyond purely touristic aspects of the city and even further than its outstanding role as a city of congresses.

marca turisme barcelonaThe targets of this campaign can easily be deduced by consulting the web. Everyone is welcome: “Whether you were born here or elsewhere” it says. Whether you are here to study, work or visit” “Whether you are a parent, child or grandparent. Sportsperson, businessperson, scientist, artist…”

It is the offer of a city that wants to be competitive without sacrificing its quality of life: “If you are somebody who thinks that life is worth living to the full, whatever stage of life it is, in Barcelona you’ll find a city where you can find professional fulfilment without having to give up the important things in life”. A city to live in forever. Always Barcelona. Or, as the promoters of the idea put it, a city of life projects where you don’t have to choose between professional growth and quality of life.

Barcelona’s ratings. Barcelona Global has created a tool for consulting and analysing the presence of Barcelona in global rankings. The Barcelona in the rankings project has been created by the Ideograma studio from a total of 45 reference tables that consider brands and global positioning, future forecasts, culture and creativity, entrepreneurship and competitiveness, research and knowledge, social impact, urban quality, talent and tourism.

It is more than a consultation tool, because it can be used to improve these ratings. Just as Fira de Barcelona helps by attracting and organizing landmark events that prepare synergies for the future.