¡Adios Costa! Rural tourism is booming in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
rural tourism
ASSSA

MADRID – More and more tourists say goodbye to the Spanish Costas and opt for a holiday inland. The number of overnight stays in rural houses, campsites, hostels and apartments has increased by more than 50% on an annual basis up until November. 

According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), overnight stays in Spanish tourist accommodations (apartments, campsites, rural accommodations and hostels) increased by 53.2%. 

In the case of campsites, rural tourism accommodations and hostels, the number of nights booked in the first eleven months of the year is even higher than in 2019. The average stay is 4.5 nights per traveller. 

Related: And the Spanish capital of rural tourism in 2022 is? 

The number of stays in non-hotel accommodations increased by 11.9% year-on-year in November. Nights spent by residents rose by 3.5% and those by non-foreign tourists by 16.3%. 

Prices are going up 

The fact that the domestic is becoming more popular is reflected in price increases. According to data from INE, the Tourist Apartment Price Index (IPAP) increased by 6.7% in November compared to the same month in 2021, the Campsite Price Index (IPAC) by 4.4% and the Price Index of  Rural Tourism (IPTR) by 3.8%. 

Apartments 

Overnight stays in tourist apartments increased by 12.9% in November compared to the same month in 2021. The average stay fell by 2% to 5.6 overnight stays per traveller. The weekend apartment occupancy rate was 36.3%, up 11.7%. 

Nights spent by non-residents in this type of accommodation accounted for 77.8% of the total. The UK was the most important issuing market with 946,622. Next was Germany, with 393,882. 

The preferred destination was the Canary Islands, which received more than 2.1 million stays, representing an annual increase of 13.8%. The archipelago also has the highest occupancy rate, with 82.3% of the apartments on offer. 

Camping 

Overnight stays at Spanish campsites saw an annual increase of 8.1% in November. That of residents grew by 6.2% and that of non-residents by 9.2%. The weekend occupancy rate reached 40.4%, with an annual increase of 3.1%. Germany was the main origin of campers, with 34.6% of total overnight stays by non-residents, an increase of 17.1% year-on-year. 

See also: The 25 best Spanish campsites 

The region of Valencia was the preferred destination for camping stays, with 579,838 overnight stays, an increase of 6.8% year-on-year. It also achieved the highest occupancy rate, with 59% of pitches offered. 

By tourist area, the Costa Blanca (Alicante) was the preferred destination for camping accommodation, with 302,390 overnight stays. This area also has the highest occupancy rate, with 76.4% of the spaces offered. 

Decline in overnight stays in ‘casas rurales’ 

The number of overnight stays in rural houses fell by 2.8% annually in November. Those of residents fell by 2.2% and those of non-residents by 5.6%. In rural tourism accommodation, 12.2% of beds were occupied, 3.4% less than in November 2021. The weekend occupancy rate was 29.2%, with an annual decline of 2.9%. 

Castilla y León was the region of choice for this type of accommodation, with 102,976 overnight stays, 4.3% more than in November 2021. The Canary Islands achieved the highest occupancy rate, with 35.1% of pitches offered. 

Grow at hostels 

As far as hostels are concerned, a total of 333,449 overnight stays were recorded in Spain in this type of accommodation last November, representing an annual increase of 58.5%. Those of residents increased by 20.4% and those of non-residents by 113.5%. 

The Madrid region was the preferred destination, with 79,299 overnight stays, and also achieved the highest occupancy rate, with 62.7% of the pitches offered. 

The main source markets for tourist accommodation as a whole were again the British (with 24.3% of all non-resident overnight stays), the Germans (16.9%) and the French (6.5%). 

The Canary Islands were the preferred destination, with more than 7.7 million overnight stays (11.1% more than in November 2021). They are followed by Andalusia, with more than 3.4 million (and an increase of 14.5%) and Catalonia, with more than 2.9 million (and an annual increase of 29.5%). 

Baycrest Wealth

You may also like