Catalunya residents are cutting back on their Easter holidays this year (article in Castilian), according to statistics provided by the Associació Catalana d'Agencies de Viatges (ACAV) and the tourism department of the Generalitat. As a result of the economic crisis, there has been a reported 15 percent fall in flight bookings as well as a 12 percent reduction in reservations made with travel agencies. Many Catalans are trading international holidays for trips to the local coast or the mountains, and ACAV anticipates an overall decline in rural tourism of 10 percent. The penny-pinching is hurting Catalan hotels as well, many of which are offering rooms for 25 percent to 60 percent of their usual Easter pricing.
Unemployment in Catalunya rose 3.9% in March (article in Castilian), meaning that almost 500,000 people are now without jobs in the region. This year is the first time unemployment has risen in March, with regard to the previous month, since 1996. While unemployment rose in all sectors, it hit most heavily in services and industry, while young people in their first place of work were particularly effected. In Barcelona alone, there was a significant rise in unemployment in March with 16,135 people losing their job, second only to Madrid's rise of 18,128.
Batman illustrator Jim Lee has unveiled the cover of Batman's Barcelona adventure (article in Castilian), showing the Caped Crusader stands on an outcropping of the Sagrada Familia under a dark swirling sky. The issue will go on sale on May 29th to coincide with the 27th annual Salón del Comíc in Barcelona (May 29th to June 1st). The Barcelona plot features Batman fighting a reincarnation of a dragon similar to the one killed, according to legend, by the Catalan patron saint Sant Jordi. The issue will be published simultaneously in Italy, Spain and the US.