The Costa del Sol and Malaga province are experiencing a tourism resurgence that is set to surpass pre-pandemic levels. Following a successful Easter week, record-breaking April, and sold-out May long public holiday weekend, experts predict that June will witness over three million overnight visitors, surpassing the previous record of 3,045,546 stays in June 2019. This article delves into the factors contributing to this tourism boom and the implications for the region’s economy.
The Association of Hoteliers of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos) anticipates that 85% of beds will be filled in June, representing a 2% increase compared to 2019 figures. Moreover, bookings for this month have seen a 4% increase compared to June 2022. Prominent destinations attracting tourists include Torremolinos, Mijas, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, and Nerja. While employers’ associations acknowledge a 10-20% rise in prices, experts believe that the region will witness even higher visitor numbers than the record-breaking June of 2019.
HOLIDAY RENTALS & CAMPSITES
Owners of holiday rentals are also reporting a steady stream of bookings, although specific data on occupancy levels is yet to be compiled by the Andalusian tourist housing association (AVVA-Pro). In a similar vein, the province’s campsites have already achieved full capacity for the second consecutive fortnight, following a 5% increase in visitors compared to pre-pandemic levels last year.
FACTORS DRIVING THE TOURISM BOOM
The resurgence in bookings can be attributed to the robust recovery of international tourism as well as the growing interest of Spaniards in exploring their own country. Sergio García, president of the province’s association of travel agencies, emphasizes that the upcoming summer season will witness a return to normality, with the lifting of all restrictions and intensifying market response. In addition, the president of the beach businessmen association of the Costa del Sol and Andalusia, Manuel Villafaina, notes an increase in international tourists, particularly from the Netherlands. He believes that people have learned to appreciate the importance of living in the present moment after the pandemic, which is evident in the strong desire to make the most of every experience.
The tourism boom is expected to generate record employment opportunities and boost sales in the hospitality sector. Mahos, the association representing hospitality businesses, predicts a 10% increase in hiring this June and anticipates a rise in turnover. However, the profitability of these businesses continues to suffer from the lingering effects of the pandemic.
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