The Strategic Tourism Plan for Catalonia 2013-2016 points out that dependence on domestic tourism was the reason why Catalan rural tourism suffered the consequences of the recession more severely than other types of accommodation which attract more international visitors. It was thus considered necessary to take steps to attract more tourists from abroad, raising awareness of Catalan rural tourism's resources in potential source markets and bringing the products and services available into line with the requirements of the international market. We did not have sufficient structured information to do this and it was clearly necessary to conduct research which would provide it, covering both the services available from our establishments and the requirements of potential visitors. Based on the results, a programme designed to internationalise rural tourism needed to be set in motion. It would include measures aimed at establishments and their owners and support for those establishments which were committed to improving quality.
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