Geografie 2023, 128, 251-270

Rural tourism accommodation performance in times of COVID-19 pandemic

Francisco Sánchez-Cubo1ID, Elena Lasso-Dela-Vega2ID, José Mondéjar-Jiménez1ID, Alejandro García-Pozo2ID

1University of Castilla-La Mancha, Department of Applied Economics I, Cuenca, Spain
2University of Málaga, Department of Applied Economics, Málaga, Spain

Received August 2022
Accepted March 2023

Two years after the COVID-19 pandemic, its effects on rural tourism remain understudied. This paper aims to study the performance of rural accommodation businesses by assessing their environmental and health attitudes. Data on environmental and health measures and business performance perceptions were collected through a questionnaire completed by 1,794 managers, the largest dataset to date for rural tourism. A PLS-SEM model and Importance- Performance Analysis (IPMA) were run to assess both dimensions towards these businesses’ resilience. The main findings were that (1) environmental dimensions were relegated by COVID-19 ones affecting resilience and (2) the fulfilment of hygiene protocols and measures by guests and businesses were crucial in business resilience. The IPMA also allows informed decision-making by identifying relative importance and performance, supporting the PLS-SEM conclusions. In conclusion, the recent situation might have benefited rural tourism businesses thanks to their resilience and might be a chance to tackle rural tourism seasonality.


Sánchez-Cubo, F. and Lasso-dela-Vega, E. benefit from a predoctoral contract for training researcher staff within the frame of the Formación de Profesorado Universitario (FPU), Fellowship Programme of the Ministry of Universities of Spain.


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