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Nearly 85% Decrease in Pilgrims in 2020

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Although the 2020 full year statistics are not yet available from the Pilgrim Office, all the monthly reports from 2020 are, so I have used these to create an analysis of how the pandemic affected the camino in 2020. The biggest takeaway is this:

Only 53,905 pilgrims received compostelas in 2020, easily the lowest number among the years for which statistics are available (2004-2020). The 2020 figure represents an 84.5% decrease from 2019 (347,578 pilgrims, the most ever), and is 42.6% lower than 2005 (93,924 pilgrims), which had the previous lowest number of pilgrims within the data set.

For those interested in more information, the full article is available on my website here:
Nearly 85% Decrease in Pilgrims in 2020
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I know many of us are very excited and hopeful about 2021 and I don't want to squish our enthusiasm, but 2021 is only a "number" for now. Having the vaccine beginning to take shape at least brings something tangible to the table...fingers crossed.🤞
 
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Andy1961

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plan to do SJPDP to Santiago in 2020.
Thanks very much, really interesting reading. I was one of the 53,905 pilgrims to receive a compostela in 2020 (having walked from SJPP to Santiago in September-October). It suited me that numbers were much lower, although it meant that many albergues, especially municipals, and bars were closed (I didn't find obtaining accommodation difficult though). On some days I encountered no other pilgrims on the route, although from Sarria onwards it did pick up, mainly with Spanish and German walkers. Vaccinations willing, I hope to do the Porto to Santiago route this autumn.
 
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Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
As I was reading this thread, I tried to place the human suffering, death, illness, the economic implication to the Camino routes, Spain and the World as a whole, isolation and loneliness into a seperate and very sad silo. When I did that, I began to wonder if there was a possible upside ecologically, or maybe just looking for the rainbow after the storm. Roughly 300k fewer people along these routes, especially the CF. Certainly less refuse, less erosion to the paths, especially in the Pyrenees and the hills of Galicia. I've read and heard a bit about more animals being seen. While I won't get to witness it, I would love to see the more rural parts of the Camino(s) after this long CV-19 imposed slumber. Possibly the subject of future posts this Spring(?) or Summer. Until then, stay home, stay safe and don't forget to reach out to those in need.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Thanks very much, really interesting reading. I was one of the 53,905 pilgrims to receive a compostela in 2020 (having walked from SJPP to Santiago in September-October). It suited me that numbers were much lower, although it meant that many albergues, especially municipals, and bars were closed (I didn't find obtaining accommodation difficult though). On some days I encountered no other pilgrims on the route, although from Sarria onwards it did pick up, mainly with Spanish and German walkers. Vaccinations willing, I hope to do the Porto to Santiago route this autumn.
I found the same, walking in October 2020
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I know many of us are very excited and hopeful about 2021 and I don't want to squish our enthusiasm, but 2021 is only a "number" for now. Having the vaccine beginning to take shape at least brings something tangible to the table...fingers crossed.🤞
That is exactly why after losing 2020 camino I projected a late March 2021 start in Sevilla now I am looking for a start in Sevilla of about October 10, 2021.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Although the 2020 full year statistics are not yet available from the Pilgrim Office, all the monthly reports from 2020 are, so I have used these to create an analysis of how the pandemic affected the camino in 2020. The biggest takeaway is this:



For those interested in more information, the full article is available on my website here:
Nearly 85% Decrease in Pilgrims in 2020
Thanks and it was interesting to read. I was wondering if there would be an uptick in CF pilgrims because of infrastructure but as you noted that the percent of CF pilgrims was about the same. I am too lazy to check :) but did the percent of pilgrims stay steady of some of the less traveled routes like the Norte, Primitivo or especially my next Camino making my first Camino step at the Sevilla Cathedral and ending at Holy Door?
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Thanks and it was interesting to read. I was wondering if there would be an uptick in CF pilgrims because of infrastructure but as you noted that the percent of CF pilgrims was about the same. I am too lazy to check :) but did the percent of pilgrims stay steady of some of the less traveled routes like the Norte, Primitivo or especially my next Camino making my first Camino step at the Sevilla Cathedral and ending at Holy Door?
Thank you!

When the report for the whole year comes out, it will be easy to see those percentages. For now you have to add them up month by month and since that was outside the scope of my article, I didn't do it.
 

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
Like @lt56ny , I too am hopeful that Oct. 2021 will allow for walking in Spain. Even with the US’s relatively poor start to mass jabbing (thanks to all you Brits for giving me a new word!) things should be running smoothly by then. Also we should have a good idea on available accommodations on the various routes.

best,
frm
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Thank you!

When the report for the whole year comes out, it will be easy to see those percentages. For now you have to add them up month by month and since that was outside the scope of my article, I didn't do it.
Not big on doing math so I will just wait till the final figures come out. Have a nice and safe new year.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
Imagine those 85 % come back ... in 2021

Not in 2021 but 2022, maybe.

I understand infections are increasing like wild fire in several of the English speaking countries that are in this forum and with consequential public health rules that mandate stay at home (with exceptions for essential food and the like)

If this is so, I have difficulty with thinking that says everything will "be back to normal" in a few months time.

Why not wait until normality is proven.

In the meantime the Camino will still be there and the infrastructure will respond in due course.

And that infrastructure response will depend on the many who need more certainty that normality is here rather than the few who hope for normality now.

Kia ora, kia kaha (be healthy, be strong and take care)
 
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Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
It will be interesting to see how those stats change if the 12 month period was Feb 2020-Feb 2021 or March to March.

My family of 4 walked the CF (SJPDP-SDV), arriving around 20 Jan 2020, when there was just a whisper of an outbreak in Wuhan. When we arrived in at the Pilgrims office we were numbers 34-37 and by no means the last of the day. Walking the earlier stages there were at least 20 pilgrims in my daily cohort, growing considerably from burgos then Leon and then Sarria.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It will be interesting to see how those stats change if the 12 month period was Feb 2020-Feb 2021 or March to March.
I‘d need to get hold of an old envelope to work out the likely change for the 85% figure but my guess is that the change of the annual decrease in % is neglegible.

In January 2020, about 2,000 people obtained their Compostela.

Currently, in January 2021, between 1 and 3 people are registered daily as receiving their Compostela, so perhaps 100 Compostelas for this month in total.

+/-1,900 fewer Compostelas is peanuts compared to the huge decrease during April-June 2020 when nobody came and July-October 2020 when the decrease in numbers ran into the 10,000s.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Lycra tribe.
CF (2017/8), VF (2018/9), Old Way (2020), VFnS (2020), CP (rebooked) (2021), VdT (ToDo)
The European ECDC is showing positive trends in the reduction of infections


Oslo seems to be very low as well as some parts of Greece.

Even parts of the UK are showing much lower levels.


And in line with greater confidence in lower infection rates/vaccinations, some holiday operators are reporting a surge in bookings for 2021. But I suspect it will be something of a rollercoaster with stop-go's on the restrictions as the virus/vaccinations works it way through.

We can now curb our fears as well as our enthusiasm.
 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
^^yes, fair call Kathar1na, since you put it like that :)
I am so glad that you made your earlier comment. It took my mind off other threads and made me download a trial version of Mathematica again because I really don't like the look of the graphs that my spreadsheet app (Numbers) produces. And now I am trying yet again to find a reason that would justify the purchase of Mathematica at the end of the 2 weeks trial period. 😄
 
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I wonder whether we should have a long running thread about Camino statistics 2021 😇. @jungleboy, I hope you don't mind me just continuing here. I occasionally look at the Oficina's website. Yesterday I saw for the first time the line "0 pilgrims arrived yesterday to Santiago" (and where I was certain it wasn't a website glitch).

La Voz de Galicia has an article about the first two weeks of this year. So far this month [January 2021] the Pilgrims Office delivered only 42 Compostelas, most of them to Spanish pilgrims, although there were also Portuguese or Americans who arrived in Santiago during these two weeks.

They say that the staff spends a lot of time answering phone calls and emails from people who want to know what the current situation for hacer el Camino is like. They advise Spanish pilgrims to wait until the public health situation has improved and point foreigners to their respective embassies when they enquire about conditions of entry into Spain.

They don't really explain how it is possible that there were 42 pilgrims so far, a question that I wonder about myself. Unfortunately, this question has often given way to polemics in other threads :(. It's like people thinking that merely talking about some facts is equivalent to endorsing something they don't approve of.
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
They don't really explain how it is possible that there were 42 pilgrims so far, a question that I wonder about myself.

Seems we have a similar mindset as I have been checking the Officina website regularly as well and wondered about the same question. So do not expect a polemic from me :)

But most logically I think is that these are mainly Spanish pilgrims living app 100. km from Santiago, maybe even able to get home (f.e. by car) after every stage. I am eager for the breakdown of arrivals by starting point to be published, to see if my assumption is correct. I do wonder though how many places are open where one can collect a sello.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I wonder whether we should have a long running thread about Camino statistics 2021 😇. @jungleboy, I hope you don't mind me just continuing here. I occasionally look at the Oficina's website. Yesterday I saw for the first time the line "0 pilgrims arrived yesterday to Santiago" (and where I was certain it wasn't a website glitch).
Not at all! I see the daily numbers on Instagram and/or in FB groups because someone posts them each day. The one I find amusing/sad is when there's only one pilgrim and the pre-written line hasn't accounted for that possibility, so it reads '1 pilgrims arrived yesterday to Santiago'.
 

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