Assessment of the Tourism’s Potential as a Sustainable Development Instrument in Terms of Annual Stability: Application to Spanish Rural Destinations in Process of Consolidation
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AuthorMartín Martín, José María; Salinas Fernández, José Antonio; Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio; Jiménez Aguilera, Juan de Dios
Rural tourismSustainabilitySeasonalitySustainable development
Martín Martín, J.M.; et al. Assessment of the Tourism’s Potential as a Sustainable Development Instrument in Terms of Annual Stability: Application to Spanish Rural Destinations in Process of Consolidation. Sustainability, 9(10): 1692 (2017). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/48487]
SponsorshipThe authors would like to thank the financial support provided by the Government of Spain (ECO2013-44879-R) and the Regional Government of Andalucía (SEJ-393).
Tourism has established itself as an instrument that supports the sustainable development of rural destinations and has both, negative and positive effects. The annual instability of the flow of visitors, known as tourist seasonality, contributes to the intensification of some of these negative effects. In this work, we perform an analysis on the evolution of the seasonality intensity during the process of consolidation of the Spanish rural destinations, designed to improve the knowledge about the tourist activity’s capacity to generate a sustainable development alternative steady throughout the year. To guarantee an accurate measurement, we propose the use of a synthetic indicator as a methodological innovation, such as the Method of Distance Pena DP2, that brings together the supply and demand variables. We can observe that tourist seasonality is restrained in smaller destinations that experience a growth in terms of tourists’ arrivals, so it is associated with the early stages of the consolidation process. However, the destinations with a lower seasonality level do not match with those that welcome a larger number of visitors. Those destinations with the potential to obtain more benefits because of their level of consolidation do not have the necessary annual stability to provide employment and income in a steady way throughout the year.