l Dear Sir,
I am writing in response to Andrew Ede’s blog concerning rural tourism as there are a number of points that I wish to correct. As the owner of an Agroturismo in Porreres, I feel that I am well qualified to respond.
Firstly, he implies that our type of tourism is not so important as it makes up a small percentage of total overnight stays. Of course, the amount is smaller as there are not so many of us. Our properties are set in acres of countryside, not stacked next to each other, back to back along large stretches of coastline. The whole USP of rural tourism is that it is NOT mass tourism.
He states that there is a low loyalty factor among holidaymakers who stay in rural accommodation. In my experience, it is the opposite. In fact, last year 35% of our guests were returning, some coming back year on year. This year, from our advance bookings, looks as though it will be a similar statistic. I would say that shows great loyalty to rural holidays and to say that we are less prone to repeat business is simply not true.
According to Mr Ede, rural tourism is more susceptible to wild fluctuations in demand. On the contrary, because we do not close for several months a year, we see a steady stream of guests, even in the winter months when they come to relax and enjoy the peace of the countryside.
We are aware that our guests demand certain standards, so to read that there may be no WiFi network is an outdated idea. We offer free high speed WiFi throughout the house and grounds. Our TV network is also equipped to show many international channels rather than the usual hotel offering of CNN. And just to reassure him - we do have running water and electricity too!
I agree that a rural retreat does not match the vitality of a city, but we are only 30 minutes from Palma meaning that our guests can experience city life and then escape back to the calm of the countryside.
Majorca is a beautiful island with something for everyone. There are many who choose to holiday in a resort, but there are a growing number of people who wish to experience ‘real’ Majorca. I believe that they can only do this by getting away from the coasts, staying in a rural area and exploring the life in some of our unspoilt towns.
Best wishes
Annie Sofiano