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Pilgrim statistics on the less traveled caminos

#1
Well, this surprised me. I went to look at the pilgrim office statistics on the Camino de Levante and found that there has been virtually no increase since 2012. People starting in Valencia:

2012 -- 120
2013 - 143
2014 -- 134
2105 -- 134

Then I looked at the camino-related statistics and found another surprise. The overall totals of the "other caminos" is just not moving much.

"Other caminos" are all but the Frances, Vdlp, Norte, Portugues, Primitivo, Ingles, and Muxia/Finisterre. Invierno gets its own entry as of 2014, so I added them into "others" for comparison. 2013 seems like an outlier year, wonder why.

2012 -- 873
2013 -- 444
2014 -- 586 plus Invierno 131 -- total of 717
2015 -- 359 plus Invierno 222 -- total of 581

So I guess what this suggests is that though people are flocking to caminos other than the Frances (the growth on some of those is pretty spectacular), there is a pretty small number of go-to alternatives.

Just FYI! Buen camino, Laurie
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#2
Well, this surprised me. I went to look at the pilgrim office statistics on the Camino de Levante and found that there has been virtually no increase since 2012. People starting in Valencia:

2012 -- 120
2013 - 143
2014 -- 134
2105 -- 134

Then I looked at the camino-related statistics and found another surprise. The overall totals of the "other caminos" is just not moving much.

"Other caminos" are all but the Frances, Vdlp, Norte, Portugues, Primitivo, Ingles, and Muxia/Finisterre. Invierno gets its own entry as of 2014, so I added them into "others" for comparison. 2013 seems like an outlier year, wonder why.

2012 -- 873
2013 -- 444
2014 -- 586 plus Invierno 131 -- total of 717
2015 -- 359 plus Invierno 222 -- total of 581

So I guess what this suggests is that though people are flocking to caminos other than the Frances (the growth on some of those is pretty spectacular), there is a pretty small number of go-to alternatives.

Just FYI! Buen camino, Laurie
Laurie:

My thoughts on this are that many of these "Other Camino's" fall into one of two categories.

They are very long and/or relatively unknown. (ie: Levante, Mozarabe ) or they connect into the Frances and are counted in that category (ie: Vasco, Invierno).

Another reason could be that Pilgrims who walk some of these other routes do not go all the way to Santiago, time constraints or maybe concern over language barriers (not able to speak Spanish).

Joe
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#3
@peregrina2000 An interesting observation. I would imagine that most people who have been put off walking the Camino Frances by the huge numbers - or who might want a different second Camino experience - would still like to find an alternative that provides enough infrastructure to make it a relatively simple and comfortable prospect. Therefore they tend to opt for the more established routes like the Norte and the Primitivo. In what might be either a virtuous or vicious circle (depending on your outlook) the infrastructure develops along those routes too and draws in ever larger numbers. A small number of adventurous and intrepid souls may deliberately seek out more lonely routes but I suspect that it will only be when these more popular "secondary" Caminos reach saturation point that the more obscure routes see any large increase in numbers.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#4
Agree with Joe on his category no.1. I remember when picking up Compostela for another person in 2015 after Levante & Sanabres three people at the Pilgrim's Office knew nothing about Levante. Maybe without explanation I would be checked in as a VdlP or Sanabres pilgrim?

And as I have already mentioned in few posts a lot of pilgrims/walkers on less walked Caminos don't even bother to go pick up the Compostela therefore they/we are not in this stats at all.

But of course even that wouldn't change the numbers significantly. As a matter of fact I kind of like it that way, no need to hush-hush about certain routes ;)
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#5
Most of my eccentric caminos (Vadiniense, de Mont Saint Michel, or Castellano-Aragones) likely got folded into Francese stats as I walked the last km into Santiago by the Francese. One way to estimate stats would be to use the point of departure although that in itself is not infallible (e.g., I have 3 departures out of Montserrat, but two went by the Cami de San Jaume, and a third by the Castellano-Aragonese; 2 departures out of Bilbao, but one went by the del Norte, and the other by the Vadiniense).
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#6
Another reason could be that Pilgrims who walk some of these other routes do not go all the way to Santiago...
Joe
I would think that this is a possibility too. When we walked the VdlP last year from Sevilla to Salamanca there were lots of pilgrims. I would say that we lost at least 30% - 40% of them in Salamanca and a few more at Zamora. I'm planning on maybe walking the Levante in 2018 but I'm only planning as far as Zamora? It could explain things?

I guess equally some start in Salamanca or Zamora but we didn't notice this?
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#7
I agree that some of the less travelled routes can easily be 'lost' in the statistics. Our Camino in 2015 along the Ruta do Mar from Ribadeo, westwards, and then onto the Inglés was counted as the Inglés as there was no specific category for it, and the Norte wasn't appropriate. It was our suggestion to save the Pilgrims' Office folk trying to work out how to record us, so we were happy with that. However if trying to record numbers for a route then it just didn't exist.
Lovely walk but no infrastructure as such and a very quiet Camino for us. :)
 

bjorgts

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos in Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003. 2018: Finish Levante + Zamora - Verin
#8
Since I started walking Caminos in 2003, I have walked 7700 km. I have been counted in Santiago only three times. We who walk parts of Caminos (in almost every holyday!) will get very few of our Caminos counted. I have walked thousands of kilometer in France, from Lisboa, In Germany (!), Levante, Mozarabe, Via Augusta, Sureste, Aragones ... never counted in Santiago.

More than half of my kilometers have been walked on other Caminos that those listed up as the "main" ones. Because we do the walking in parts, nobody knows in the statistics. I have put on the desk in Santiago a pilgrims passport looking like an accordion with about 130 stamps, but when they get the information that this was done in parts, they just ask: Where did you start this year? And guess what it is counted as then ... the Frances, Vdlp and Norte ... I have felt that this is not a correct way of counting - if they really want to have a realistic picture of where the walkers walk. But the interest is the Compostella, and then they actually count something else than "how many walk where?". I think it is important to take that into account when we read the statistics.
 
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#9
Yes, there's a lot of "folding in" -- if you walk the Norte and then get onto the Primitivo, you will count as a Norte pilgrim (which means, I think, that the Primitivo numbers are vastly undercounted). And Levante pilgrims count as a Vdlp/Sanabres, etc.

So looking at the starting point is probably a better indicator, but that also suggests very low numbers. Valencia is pitifully low, despite all the rah rah praising we have done here on the forum and some I've seen on other forums in Spanish. I think Bradypus is onto something -- pilgrims want to avoid the crowds, but they want the infrastructure and some company. So those other caminos (Norte, Vdlp, Primitivo, etc,) fit the bill. Problem is, some of those caminos are also getting over crowded! The Invierno is still the one that stands out most as well poised to lurch into popularity -- a beautiful camino that is getting a lot of official attention, money, and publicity, all to lure pilgrims over at Ponferrada. Let's see if it works.
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
#10
Interesting! 96 people walked from Valencia in 2009, the year I walked. I had no company until I joined the VdlP at Zamora - it was both hard and deeply wonderful
 

bjorgts

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos in Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003. 2018: Finish Levante + Zamora - Verin
#11
Remember that counting the startingpoints will also only count those walkers who walk the whole camino in one. My startings in Valencia and Alicante will stay invisible. In Santiago they registrate only the place where you started when you walked the part that ended in Santiago.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#12
Remember that counting the startingpoints will also only count those walkers who walk the whole camino in one. My startings in Valencia and Alicante will stay invisible. In Santiago they registrate only the place where you started when you walked the part that ended in Santiago.
Agree but OTOH I'm sure they would put in the (let's say) Valencia as a starting point even if you've walked Levante/Sanabres or Levante/VdlP/CF etc. in five years stretches. You just have to emphasize that at the counter. A lot of people (mostly Spaniards I think) do that on CF when walking a week or two every year. So what's the difference here? If you go to collect the Compostela of course :)
 

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
#13
Probably a lot of people who once they have one certificate of completion don't bother to register again for subsequent walks once they get to Santiago. I didn't because I can reuse the pilgrims passport.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#14
Probably a lot of people who once they have one certificate of completion don't bother to register again for subsequent walks once they get to Santiago. I didn't because I can reuse the pilgrims passport.
Hi,

Me neither. I have collected one certificate, but I have arrived in Santiago several times. I wonder how many of us go under the radar? None of those numbers are correct. The number of 2014 is 134 + 1 then... and certainly some other pilgrims as well.

/BP
 

bjorgts

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos in Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003. 2018: Finish Levante + Zamora - Verin
#15
I have collected three Compostellas, and two of the times I told them on the office in Santiago that I had started other places than the startingpoint that year. So I have tried to emphasize that at the counter, but no ... just interested in the place you started walking that year. So no Cluny, for example - which could have been interesting in statistics.
 

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