Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Domestic demand for tourism in rural areas: Insights from summer stays in three French regions

Bel, François and Lacroix, Anne and Lyser, Sandrine and Rambonilaza, Tina and Turpin, Nadine (2014): Domestic demand for tourism in rural areas: Insights from summer stays in three French regions. Published in: Tourism Management No. 46 : pp. 562-570.

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Abstract

Tourism has the potential to make a major contribution to the development of rural areas. However, empirical evidence suggests that its economic impact is limited, because rural visitors are thought to engage in few recreational activities and are seen as low spenders. This study gives new insights into the domestic demand in areas of France described as “rural”, with data extracted from the national database provided by the French “tourism demand survey”. The results of the “activity-based segmentation” of visitors' stays in three rural regions show that during the summer season, visits to friends or relatives, which involve little expenditure and no specific activities, continue to take place. However, more expensive stays are the most common. They involve activities aimed at experiencing the outdoors or enjoying local sights, based on natural and cultural amenities that are mainly located in regional natural parks. The main forms of accommodation are campsites and rural cottages. Gastronomic tourism has also emerged as an activity that attracts higher spending visitors. These findings are discussed in relation to the results of segmentation studies in other European countries. Their academic and management implications also are presented.

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