Main characteristics of fair tourism supply in Spain

F. González Reverté
2015 Boletín de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles  
This paper provides an empirical analysis of the current Spanish fair tourism supply. The fieldwork consisted in analyzing fair tourism travel catalogues (2012) from fourteen major Spanish distributors (including NGOs and specialized travel agencies). The characterization of the Spanish fair tourism supply is established through the analysis of different issues: the journey structure and price, the leisure practices performed by tourists during their stay and the ethical components and social
more » ... sponsibility associated with the travel providers. The main result is the establishment of a typology of fair tourism trips according to their formal characteristics and the role that tourism and leisure practices have in its implementation. Moreover, in a scenario of expected growth in demand, it is discussed the tourism marketing possibilities of the different types of responsible tourism trips detected and some guidelines for improving engagement with potential demand segments are suggested. This study provides an exploratory analysis of the characteristics of responsible tourism in Spain based on the analysis of the supply offered in 2012. The responsible tourism trips marketed in Spain are a singular tourism product with and an image clearly associated by people with solidarity and responsibility. However, the lack of product segmentation can make difficult attracting new consumers or to add different profiles to the existing ones. Content analysis of travel programs and brochures shows that there are three basic types of responsible tourism trips. The first type, which we call responsible solidarity tourism, is linked primarily with solidarity tourism practices and also, in a complementary way, with tourism practices based on discovery. This results in the predominance of activities closer to the volunteer tourism and community tourism, but also is associated with a significant presence of heritage tourism. The second type, which we call responsible and cultural exchange tourism, is also based on discovery and solidarity practices. However the formula is different because users put the emphasis on contact with the local community and, secondly in importance, in heritage or nature tourism. The third type is called solidarity responsible holidays. This type of travel is opposed, in essence, to the first one because the main tourism practices are focused on discovery (owing, basically, to the presence of activities based on heritage tourism and ecotourism), while solidarity (in this case much more focused on volunteer and Boletín de la Asociación de Geógrafos Españoles N.º 67 -2015, págs. 483-486 I.S.S.N.: 0212-9426
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