Rural tourism has been in good health over the years, offering different activities for any person. He The role of technology in the rural context remains controversial. Alberto Ruiz Chas, Company Manager AvenjucarBased in the province of Albacete, demonstrates the role of technology in this area.
Rural Tourism and Technology
How did the history of Avenjúcar begin? It was a time when adventure tourism was out of fashion in this part of Spain.
„That’s right, it’s an original one. At that time, this kind of natural sport started to be marketed in the north of Spain, but almost nothing was done in the center and south. Rural tourism, staying in rural houses, hiking or visiting monuments and other places of interest, did not offer leisure alternatives. There are no playful and dynamic activities. Therefore, I found this need, especially in a city like Alcalá del Júcar, one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Besides being geographically excellent, three hours from Madrid, two hours from Valencia, Murcia and Alicante. Alcalá del Júcar is a A privileged location, between the rivers Júcar and Cabriel, there is not much rural tourism and a lack of rest alternatives for day hikers. We were looking for a way to attract day hikers, offering packages that include one or more nights with meals and a variety of activities in nature. By creating an attractive tourism product. „This is how the idea arose to offer this series of activities that greatly complement the tourism offer.”
How has rural tourism broadened from its initial profile of explorers and adventurers?
„There has been an important evolution. Rural tourism has become a substitute or complement to conventional sun and beach tourism.
The tourist was the first to evolve. Active tourism was more for a certain group, hikers, mountaineers, climbers and those who enjoy rafting. What we have achieved is to expand this approach, I don’t want to say make it fashionable, because the fashionable will disappear. It is something that is built and works and will continue to work as long as people want to enjoy the countryside and nature. We have brought activities closer to families and people of all types in average physical condition. „Before it was a specific group, now anyone can go rafting or go canyoning.”
What do you think should be the role of technology in rural adventure tourism?
„On an internal level, It is a liberating development. When we started, we depended on the landline and you had to be physically next to it. That changed with the advent of the mobile phone. Then came emails, which provided immediacy. Then came websites and people could access bookings instantly. Before the Internet, advertising was done at fairs or over the phone, and brochures didn’t always reflect reality. Now,fronts of the home from home, everything is instantaneous, with the Internet. Externally, I initially thought it would be better to limit mobile coverage so that people would be completely cut off. However, there is controversy on this topic. Personally, I like my clients to have coverage or access to Wi-Fi, but this sometimes prevents them from being completely disconnected. There is a debate, some customers like the option to join, but often when we have the option, we don’tWe connect you with the slowness of the urban world. At Avenjúcar, we try to let people completely disconnect and immerse themselves in the weekend experience, but technology doesn’t always allow that.
„I think technology should be a complement to booking and documenting the experience with digital graphic materials that can be shared on social networks and so on. But please, It doesn’t change the actual experience of the destination. Seeing the pyramids from home is not the same as being there. Or, for example, Seville walks its streets, talks to its citizens, and smells the orange blossoms rather than watching them on a screen. My concern is that the travel and tourism experience will not be entirely digital in the future.