The new normal will not come to Spain, at the earliest, until June 25. In the best case, Spanish citizens who are willing to travel, as long as the autonomy in which they reside has passed all phases of the de-escalation, will be able to do so from that date. What they will find, however, will have nothing to do with what they remember: places to enter and leave hotels, to bathe on the beach or in the pools (as long as they finally open) and limited capacity in bars, restaurants , beach bars or discotheques, which could lead to many businessmen choosing not to open due to lack of profitability.
In this scenario of restrictions, ehe rural tourism has become the most demanded alternative to the beach by avoiding crowds and not having to have so many restrictions on movement and concentration as in a coastal area.
Data from EscapadaRural.com, one of the largest platforms in this segment with a base of 34,000 accommodations, reveals the significant growth in demand in a survey of 17,000 owners between April 29 and May 5. Pre-reservations for summer have more than doubled, with a growth of 122%, and more than 7,000 requests are already accumulated in a week, of which 35% are for July and 38% for August. The most requested destinations are Andalusia, with 32% of requests, followed by Catalonia (21%) and Madrid (9%), they emphasize from the chain. “These data are very positive since, after the closure of the establishments and a logical drop in activity, in just one week we have reached figures very close to the previous ones of the crisis,” he stresses. Ana Alonso, spokesperson for the platform.
The most popular destinations for high season are Andalusia, Catalonia and Madrid
Not only has the demand for clients grown, but also that of owners for starting out in this business segment, as a consequence of the collapse of tourist flats due to the closure of borders in 217 countries. “In the last week, 166 special offers for rural accommodation have been validated, which are advertised on the web, which more than doubles those published the previous week.. There is a movement in the sector that we hope will increase, as security protocols are established. Thanks to them, rural tourism will be the great option for many people’s vacations throughout this year, since it is proximity tourism, affordable and not overcrowded ”.
Reservations at rural hotels have also skyrocketed. The Rusticae chain has 170 establishments in Spain, with an average of 12 rooms and a rate of 130 euros per night, who already plan to hang the “complete” poster in summer. “Demand is working very well and all hotels foresee a very good summer season,” he stresses. Rubén Pérez, director of operations of Rusticae. But not only have customer requests grown, but so have hotel owners interested in joining the Rusticae brand. “Since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, we have had a flurry of requests to join our boutique hotel chain and have reached a rejection rate of 85%.” In his opinion, the rates they charge will allow them to comfortably assume the expenses derived from the protocols to guarantee the safety and optimal sanitary conditions of their establishments.
The protocol approved by the Secretary of State for Tourism for this type of establishment establishes an endless number of obligations, which will substantially reduce the benefit per available room. From having ozone machinery to clean textiles, permanent shifts of cleaning and disinfection and the reduction of capacity in gyms or swimming pools or spas, in the event that their opening is finally allowed.
The break in tourist apartments triggers interest in vacation rentals
From Vrbo, a brand belonging to Expedia, with 141,000 ads between vacation, urban and rural, they hope that there will be a rebound once the new normal is reached. “Travelers will look for less crowded national destinations and alternative accommodations such as vacation homes where they can enjoy the outdoors in private spaces but without giving up on sharing the vacation with their loved ones. The vacation rental offers innumerable advantages that allow you to relax together without sharing existing public spaces with strangers. ”