Analysis of tourism seasonality as a factor limiting the sustainable development of rural areas
Martín Martín, José María (1)
Salinas Fernández, José Antonio
Rodríguez Martín, José Antonio
Ostos‐Rey, María S.
Tipo de Ítem:Articulo Revista Indexada
Several sustainable development strategies in rural areas have relied on tourism as a tool for economic growth and job creation. The alternating peak and valley periods that seasonality entails—and their corresponding negative economic, environmental, or social impacts—may somewhat condition the success of these policies. The aim of this article is to analyze whether rural destinations suffer from higher levels of seasonality as compared with those of beach and urban tourism. The analysis is applied to Andalusia, a region in southern Spain, one of the major tourist destinations in Europe and a provider of diverse tourist products. The methodological innovation and contribution of this study is to measure seasonality intensity by means of a DP2 synthetic indicator that gathers information derived from various facets of seasonality, ultimately allowing us to overcome the disadvantages of single-variable assessment. We conclude that seasonality in rural tourism should not be evaluated generally, since each destination has specific conditions that determine stability or seasonality in the area. We obtain evidence that some rural areas show a lower level of seasonality than cultural-urban destinations (the most stable in terms of annual activity). Thus, rural destinations will not suffer from the problems associated with high seasonality. Due to the great differences among rural destinations, this methodology should be applied to regions with different characteristics to complement the conclusions drawn from this study and determine which destinations call for public policies and specific strategies to reduce seasonality.
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