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Rural tourism loses 2% of customers last July but increase the number of foreign visitors

Country house visitors with Spanish nationality decrease by 4% while the number of foreigners visiting these rural establishments increases by nearly 8%.

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31 August 2011 08:43 PM

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ACN

Madrid (ACN).- The 1,700 houses in Catalonia dedicated to rural tourism have seen a fall in the number of holiday makers this July. According to the Spanish Institute of Statistics, this July these establishments received 30,630 visitors, 1.79% less than in July 2010 when the number of clients amounted to 31,188 people. This decline is being attributed to the reduction in domestic tourism within Spain, which fell by 4.39% (from 24,407 people in July 2010 to 23,336 this year). Although the number of foreign visitors has increased by 7.57% (from 6,781 in July 2010 to 7,294 this year) their numbers were too small to fill this void. Despite the fall in the number of visitors to Catalan country houses in July, figures released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) indicate a positive development in the increase in the number of overnight stays. This means that although the quantity of tourists to rural houses is less than last year, of the ones who do visit, more are prolonging their stay.



This increase in overnight stays has helped to increase the average length of stay, which has risen on average to 4.17 days, 16.48% more than the average stay of 3.58 days recorded in July 2010.

Overnight stays of tourists increased by 42%

The number of overnight stays registered in July of this year totalled 127,847 nights, a 14.43% increase over the same month last year, which amounted to 111,726 overnight stays. Domestic Spanish tourists that choose to holiday in these houses have also expanded their average stay compared to one year ago. Spanish tourists increased their stay by 2.85% (78,565 overnight stays in July of 2010 compared to 80,804 in July this year), while the overnight stays of foreign tourists rose by 41.86% (from 33,161 in July 2010 to 47,043 this year).

More rural businesses in July 2010

Figures published by the INE also explain that despite the economic crisis that hit last summer, the number of rural houses have increased both in terms of the number of establishments, from 1,644 units in July 2010 to1,749 this July a  6.39% increase. In addition, the number of beds offered increased by 7.3%, from 13,140 beds in July 2010 to 14,099 this July.

The number of jobs increased by 7%

The rural business industry has also hired more employees. Currently, 2,381 people work in the sector, a 6.58% expansion of last years' 2,234 workers. This shows the confidence of owners in the success of their businesses during the summer season.

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  • The rural bed and breakfast Mas Moreta, in the Ripollès County, on the Pyrenees (by Mas Moreta)

  • The rural bed and breakfast Mas Moreta, in the Ripollès County, on the Pyrenees (by Mas Moreta)