Digitalisation and rural tourism development in Europe




Digitalization, Rural areas, NUTS classification, Tourism, depopulation, Digital Collaboration platforms, European Union, Regional statistics


This work presents an analysis of the digitalisation of the tourism sector and evaluates the potential of this process for rural areas of the European Union (EU). To do this, we explore aspects of both the supply and demand of rural tourism, proposing a regression model that incorporates indicators that relate the advance of digitalisation with changes in the weight and characteristics of the sector in the regions with low population density included in the NUTS level 2. The research results indicate a positive relationship between the digitalisation of the sector and the supply of rural accommodation, as well as a positive impact on the demand for these facilities. In addition, the study has made it possible to address the potential competition between traditional accommodations and digital platforms, revealing that the greater use of digital platforms for reservations does not negatively affect hotel occupancy rates. The findings underline the importance of digitalisation in the development of rural tourism and suggest possible lines of political action for promoting digital platforms in rural areas.

Author Biographies

  • Nuria Alonso Gallo, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos Complutense Institute for International Studies (Universidad Complutense de Madrid UCM)

    Nuria Alonso holds a PhD in Economics from Rey Juan Carlos University. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Economics II at URJC and a researcher in the group of European structures and dynamics at the Complutense Institute of International Studies (ICEI-UCM), as well as in the research group on Challenges of Taxation in the 21st Century.

  • Lucía Vicent, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
    Lucía Vicent holds a Ph.D. in International Economics and Development from the Complutense University of Madrid. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied, Public, and Policy Economics at UCM and a researcher at the Complutense Institute of International Studies (ICEI-UCM) and in the Charles Babbage research group (UCM).
  • David Trillo, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos Complutense Institute for International Studies (Universidad Complutense de Madrid UCM)

    David Trillo holds a PhD in Economics from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos. Currently, it's Full           Lecturer at the Department of Applied Economics II of the URJC and researcher in the group of European Structures and Dynamics of the Complutense Institute of International Studies (ICEI-UCM) and in the research goup on Challenges of taxation in the 21st century.


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Special Issue "Social Media and Digital Transformation"

How to Cite

Alonso Gallo, N., Vicent, L., & Trillo, D. (2024). Digitalisation and rural tourism development in Europe. Tourism & Management Studies, 20(SI), 33-44.

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