According to the annual report & nbsp; “The Radiography of the Rural Traveler 2009” & nbsp; by Toprural.com, rural tourists travel more despite the crisis.
Through more than 2,500 in-depth surveys, the company analyzes for the third consecutive year the habits and trends of rural travelers in Spain, and for the first time also in France and Italy. The results of the study allow us to analyze in detail how the economic crisis is affecting the behavior of rural travelers.
General population: & nbsp; The 2009 Rural Traveler X-ray shows that 63% of Spaniards admit to having modified their vacations due to the crisis, 12% more than in 2008 (51%). Of this group, 50% have sought cheaper accommodation or reduced spending on activities and 30% have traveled fewer days.
Rural travelers: & nbsp; 19% of rural travelers claim to have reduced their number of trips, of which the vast majority (64%) blame it on personal financial issues. Against these data, it stands out that 55% of rural travelers have maintained their frequency of getaways and 26% have traveled more than in previous years. In fact, in 2009 both the average frequency of trips grew (3.7 times, compared to 3.0 in 2008 and 3.1 in 2007) and the average length of stay (4.2 days, compared to 3.7 days in 2008 and 3.2 days in 2007).
The crisis also affects the rural traveler: If the crisis for rural travelers is reflected in something, it is in the containment of spending. In 2009, they spent an average of € 157.4 per person and weekend, € 8.4 less than in 2008 (-5.1%) and € 12.0 less than in 2007 (-7.1%) . This reduction has had a direct impact on spending on complementary activities (restaurants, transport, excursions, etc.) since spending on accommodation has only dropped € 0.7 compared to 2008 (€ 81.4 compared to € 82.1) . Spending on accommodation accounts for just over half of the total (51.7% compared to 49.5% in 2008).
In addition, price continues to be a key factor when hiring a rural accommodation (57% of travelers consider it very important), surpassed only by cleanliness (64%) as the most relevant aspect. Against this, the report collects that 51% of the rural travelers surveyed consider rural tourism cheap compared to 49% who consider it expensive.
Rural Traveler Profile: & nbsp; 57% are women compared to 43% men, aged between 25 and 44 years (77%) with intermediate and higher education (96%) and mostly urbanites. They seek tranquility and contact with nature in rural tourism.
Rural tourism is mostly shared by & nbsp; couples & nbsp; (53%), followed by friends (47%), partners and children (34%) and other relatives (15%). On the other hand, the majority of rural travelers (66%) choose to stay in full rental rural houses, followed by rural houses for rent by rooms (41%) and rural hotels (40%).
According to the data in the report, travelers continue to choose & nbsp; weekends & nbsp; for their rural getaways, although in a lower percentage than last year (73% compared to 78% in 2008), followed by bridges (55% versus 56%), summer holidays (34% versus 33%), Easter (29% versus 25%) and Christmas (12% versus 11%).
As for the most important aspects when choosing a rural accommodation, travelers consider & nbsp; cleanliness & nbsp; (97% value it as important), & nbsp; comfort & nbsp; strong > (96%) and & nbsp; price & nbsp; (96%) as the most relevant. It is closely followed by tranquility (95%) and location (92%). The increase in the valuation of accommodation equipment stands out as a key factor (90% in 2009 compared to 66% in 2008). On the other hand, the aspects least valued by travelers are the admission of pets (30%) and the fact that the owner is available (43%).
Search online but book by phone: & nbsp; Regarding the search method for rural accommodation, the Internet is the medium most used by most travelers (92% compared to 93% in 2008). It is followed by the recommendations of friends and family (44% in both years) and the rural tourism guides, which show a decrease of 10 points compared to 2008 (29% compared to 39%).
On the other hand, the factors that most influence the & nbsp; final choice of accommodation & nbsp; are, in the first place, the characteristics and services that it has (65%), photos (63%) , the opinions of other travelers published on the Internet (55%) and the accommodation website (54%). Recommendations from friends and family are relegated to fifth place (48%).
Although the Internet is the most used medium for finding accommodation, it is not for the & nbsp; reservation . The majority of rural travelers continue to make their reservations by phone directly with the owner (75% compared to 73% in 2008). Of these, the vast majority (72%) affirm that they prefer the telephone to the Internet for convenience, although 22% claim that rural accommodations do not normally have the option of doing so over the Internet. Despite not exceeding the telephone, the use of the network to make reservations grows compared to previous years: 53% make them through email (46% in 2008) and 42% make reservations online (36% in 2008).
Likewise, it is worth noting the & nbsp; increase in advance time & nbsp; with which travelers make their reservations, from 26 to 30 days in 2009.
Non-rural travelers: & nbsp; According to the data of the report, of the total of respondents who declare themselves as non-rural travelers, 30% attribute it to personal economic issues, 8 percentage points more than last year (22%); 24% declare preferring another type of tourism (compared to 36% in 2008); 19% consider that it is very expensive (compared to 13%), and 18% do not practice rural tourism because they have another holiday home.
Faced with this, the data from La Radiografía show that & nbsp; 9 out of 10 non-rural travelers & nbsp; consider practicing this type of tourism in the future. This proportion has & nbsp; progressively increased, from 83% in 2007, to 87% in 2008 and 92% in 2009.
Comparison with France and Italy: & nbsp; This year, for the first time, the study has been carried out simultaneously in three countries, Spain, France and Italy, with a total of more than 4,700 interviews, with which the Results allow to establish a comparison of the consumption trends of rural tourism at an international level. & nbsp; Starting with how the crisis has influenced their vacations, it should be noted that Italians are the most affected (73% say they have modified their vacations for this reason), followed by Spanish (63%) and French (57%).
Regarding rural tourism consumption habits, the comparison between the three countries shows that French rural travelers are those who travel more days (6.2) and more times a year (4.1), compared to Italians (4 , 3 days, 3.6 times) and Spanish (4.2 days, 3.7 times). Likewise, the French are the most forward-thinking when it comes to booking accommodation (54.6 days on average), compared to Spaniards (30.0) and Italians (26.2). Spanish rural travelers, the youngest: By On the other hand, Spanish rural travelers are the youngest (the majority are between 25 and 34 years old, while the Italians are mostly between 35 and 44 years old and the French between 45 and 54 years old). In addition, Spanish rural travelers are the ones who travel the most with friends (47%), compared to Italians (28%) and French (27%) and those who make more weekend getaways (73%), compared to Italians (56 %) and French (47%). Lastly, rural Italian travelers stand out as the ones who spend the most in a weekend (€ 172.4 for Italians, € 157.4 for Spanish and € 147.9 for French).