Nature tourism, sport, sun and beach, the trends for this year’s Spanish holidays

Braintrust’s tourism barometer shows that young people will be the first to reactivate a tourism that has high hopes in the national segment, as opposed to a senior tourism that will be slower in its reactivation, thus affecting the tourism products most closely linked to it.

Surveys and reports on how it will develop this summer in Spain, analyzing the behavior of potential travelers. According to the new wave of the Braintrust Tourism Barometer, the under-30s are the first to return to travel, “with sports tourism (representing 27% of their breaks) and sun and beach (21%) as bulwarks,” the report says.

In contrast, senior tourism will slow down the recovery with greater caution and respect for possible contagion, but will be key to saving the sector in the last months of the year. “The Spanish belonging to the Generation X (between 40 and 55 years) will concentrate 38.4% of cultural and heritage trips within the Spanish territory, 48.2% will choose the nature tourism, 42.5%, gastronomic trips, and 46.7%, shopping. Thermal and wellness tourism will be chosen preferably by the Baby Boomers (over 55 years old), representing 41.6% of their choices, as well as religious trips, which will attract 32.4% of travelers of this generation”.

The study of the evolution of the data of the last three years carried out by Braintrust shows that the new trends coincide with two of the types of travel that have increased the most in number of trips: nature tourism (with a growth of 38.5% since 2017) and cultural tourism (29.1%). In fact, nature tourism is shaping up to be the big winner in the coming months, offering open spaces and few tourist crowds. “The rents of rural houses have been increased in recent weeks facing the summer because, among other reasons, possibly be seen somewhat safer by some travelers, compared to others who will see in hotels a site of stricter protocols once approved by the ICTE and implemented progressively,” they say.

Health and wellness tourism has grown by 43% since 2017 and will continue to grow after the pandemic, while for cultural tourism, different roadmaps are being put in place for its reactivation to help offer quality tourism with the required health measures throughout the ecosystem.

Sun and beach tourism, so important for coastal destinations, will nevertheless maintain its attractiveness depending on the de-escalation measures dictated by the different autonomous communities, such as capacity and the necessary social distance, but will attract younger people and families with children and less so the elderly for fear of contagion, and the discomfort of some health measures imposed in times of maximum summer heat.

At the other extreme would be religious tourism, with a worse prognosis when associated with large gatherings in places of worship. Furthermore, it is the older generations who are most interested in this type of travel and they represent the most vulnerable population in relation to the Covid.

Impact by communities
The report also analyses the impact that different types of travel may have by Autonomous Community. Nature tourism predominates in Catalonia (19.4%), Castile and Leon and Andalusia (13.5%) and Aragon (11.5%); cultural tourism is mainly distributed among Andalusia (22.6%), Madrid (12.8%) and Castile and Leon (12.7%); with a significant growth in recent years, gastronomic breaks are concentrated in Andalusia (15.1%), Castile and Leon (13.0%) and Galicia (10.4%); For thermal and wellness tourism, Spanish travellers chose Catalonia and Galicia (14.4%) and Andalusia (13.1%); as regards shopping, we mainly visited Madrid (22.4%), Catalonia (15.6%) and Andalusia (13.3%); and, finally, for trips with religious purposes, Andalusia (39.2%) and Galicia (11.7%) stood out.

Beyond the type of trip, the important thing is that the destinations are rethinking their strategy because, as warned Angel Garcia Butragueño, co-director of the Tourism Barometer and head of Tourism and Leisure of the consultant, “you can not fall into the collapse of prices as the main element of attraction, nor in the promotion of any type of tourism to see the first travelers in our cities. The opportunity for transformation is unique and it is now, let’s not waste it”.

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