Rural tourism recovers in 2017

In 2017, rural tourism has experienced a good year in terms of price evolution, with 62.1% of lodgings that maintain them and 21.8% that has increased compared to 16.1% that has altered them downwards, according to the study of the Observatory of Rural Tourism, OTR, a research project led by the portal EscapadaRural. com, the school CETT-UB and the company Netquest.

This trend points to the recovery of the sector, where stability in terms of employment on key dates is combined with this rate increase, leaving behind the recession and devaluation of supply. By Autonomous Community, Balearic Islands, Navarre, Catalonia and Basque Country are the ones that have the highest percentage of lodgings -over 30%- that claims to have increased their rates during the last year. At the other end of the spectrum are Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura, areas where prices have fallen in the same period. In the case of Murcia up to 25% of owners admit that they have lowered rates, while in Castilla-la-Mancha and Extremadura the percentage is 23%. In the case of Galicia, 62% of the owners have not changed their prices, while 22% have done so, upwards, and 16% have lowered them. Compared to the previous OTR of 2015,26% of owners of this type of accommodation have been able to increase their prices in 2017.

The report also explores the fact that most of them maintain a stable price according to season, and not adopted any strategy of resale management. In general terms, however, it has been a good year for this type of tourism, with an increase of 5% in the number of travelers who opt for this type of accommodation, which corresponds to a middle-aged profile (average age of 43) and which usually travels as a family or couple.
Another interesting data is the high percentage -29%- of travellers who understand that rural tourism has a better quality/price ratio than urban tourism, a percentage that rises to 32% in the case of travellers who choose Cantabria as a destination, and that drops to 25% in the case of those who visit Catalonia.

Ecotourist, a growing trend
Taking advantage of the celebration of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism in 2017, EscapadaRural. com, through its Observatory of Rural Tourism, has created a’ robot portrait’ of the ecotourist, a growing trend that each year has more followers. In the case of Galicia, this trend is five points higher than in the rest of the country. It is not in vain that 87% of the travellers who opt for rural tourism in Galicia define themselves as ecotourists, but the owners of these accommodations, although they are aware of this trend, do not incorporate complementary offer that feeds this trend. Only 29% of them regularly incorporate an offer of such activities.