Facing new challenges in rural tourism: signaling quality via website

  • Inmaculada Rabadán-Martín
  • Francisco Aguado-CorreaEmail author
  • Nuria Padilla-Garrido
Original Research


Conscious of the importance of the tourist sector in Spain and the appeal of rural tourism in Andalusia, this paper aimed to analyse the quality indicators that rural Andalusian hotels show on their official websites (quality certifications, logos of excellence and online reviews), as well as the possible variables that may influence the sort of indicators published. The results reflected that only 38% of the analysed hotels presented some sort of quality indicator. In this regard, 23.68% of the establishments provided information related to their online reputation, 20.3% displayed some form of logos of excellence and only 7.5% chose to indicate that they had quality certifications. The hypothesis test indicated a significant correlation between the exhibition of logos of excellence and the high star hotels. Enhancing rural hotels’ websites, as a sales platform, could be the alternative to reduce the commissions of online travel agencies and could foster direct sales and subsequently improve business performance.


Rural tourism Quality certifications Online reputation TripAdvisor 


Author contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Francisco Aguado-Correa, Inmaculada Rabadán-Martín and Nuria Padilla-Garrido. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Inmaculada Rabadán-Martín and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Financial Economics, Accounting and Operations ManagementUniversity of HuelvaHuelvaSpain
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of HuelvaHuelvaSpain

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