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Wednesday, 5 March

Salou continues to uphold its leadership as a Family Tourism Destination. More than 67% of the tourists visiting Salou has a profile that is eminently family based, as revealed by the study conducted recently by the Costa Daurada Tourist Studies Foundation. Of this number, 33.3% of the families arriving at this destination are with their children.  There is also a slight increase in families with small children, from 0 to 5 years old.  Another relevant figure from the study is the increased weight of the internet for learning about the destination and organising their trips.

In this regard, the tourism councillor, Benet Presas, explained that ‘the work we do both from the stance of the public sector and the private sector to offer high quality services adapted to families (accommodation, complementary offerings, Port Aventura...), as well as the standards represented by our certification as a Family Tourism Destination, make families select Salou and discover an added value in our municipality, meeting the expectations they have for Salou’.

Internet, more relevance

One of the noteworthy aspects of the study is the relevance that the internet takes on for learning about and organising trips. With regard to learning about the destination, 31.5% of tourists who stay in Salou for the first time found out about the destination primarily via the internet. In second place are travel agencies, with 27.2 of tourists, and 21.1% are recommended Salou by friends and/or relatives.  Tourists who learned about the region from the internet jumped by 11.6 points, a significant increase with respect to tourist preferences for learning details about the destination.

There was also a notable increase in people who booked via the internet channel, with 22.9% (in 2012 it was 18.4%) and via online travel agencies, with 17.6% (which in 2012 was 14.1%).  In other words, a total of 40.5% booked using this channel. 
And although the consumer trend points to an increased consumption via the internet, travel agencies also continue to be an important channel for booking, with 35.5%, although with a slight year-on-year drop from 41.9%.

Loyalty building

With regard to the degree of loyalty, Salou has very high figures, where 66.6% of tourists who stayed in Salou in 2013 stated that they were repeating Salou as a travel destination.  Moreover, the percentage of tourists visiting the municipality for the first time increased by 10.2%, primarily due to foreign tourism. 

Satisfaction levels

According to study results, on a scale of 1 to 5, the overall average satisfaction level given by the tourists surveyed was 4.4, practically the same as 2012.  On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is excellent, the average score given by tourists on restaurants in the municipality of Salou was 4.1.

The three main reasons why tourists travelled to Salou in 2013 were holidays (20.0%), beach (11.7%) and having a second home there (11.0%). When speaking of the foreign profile, the main reasons they gave for staying in the municipality of Salou were ‘holidays’ (32.8%) and ‘to be tourists’ (16.1%), while for the Catalan and Spanish markets, the ‘second residence’ ranks high (21.9% and 17.7% respectively).

The average days in advance that visitors decide on the parameters of their trips, from the first time the idea popped into their heads until arriving at the destination in 2013 was 74 days, a notable increase from the 52 days of the previous year or, in other words, an increase was detected in the time tourists take to decide on their destination.

The Russian market

One of the markets that continues to grow significantly is the Russian one. This market has 76.2% tourists coming to the municipality for the first time, a larger chunk than other foreign markets. Several characteristics define the profile of the Russian tourist as one of the main generating markets. Data that help characterise this market include the fact that they prefer to stay in hotels. Among those lodging in hotels, 21.9% are from the Russian market.  ‘This notable increase in Russian tourists is the result of deploying an entire series of actions, and the work that has been developed in this market at present and for the last several years’, explained the tourism councillor.

It also has a markedly family profile, where 17.8% of the families with children who come to Salou are Russians, a higher percentage than other nationalities. Furthermore, Russian tourists use travel agencies as the main tool for booking their trips, where some 30.0% of tourists select travel agencies for planning and organisation.