One effective way to measure the state of health of the tourism business is by looking at the amount of money spent by foreign visitors during their stay. In Andalucía, this has broken a record during the first six months of this year because it has exceeded the four billion euro mark for the first time.
The actual figure of 4,032 million is 14 per cent (500 million euros) higher than in the same period last year, according to a survey which is carried out each month by the Ministry of Tourism. The figure also shows how well the region is doing in general, because the increase in this first half-year was double the national average.
Before the economic crisis affected tourism, Andalucía was earning about 3.5 billion euros from international visitors and in 2007 that figure rose by 15.3 per cent in the first six months. During that period, Andalucía received nearly the same number of tourists as between January and June this year. However, the amount these tourists have spent between January and June 2014 is higher than in 2007, with an average of 1,064 euros per trip and a daily spend of 107 euros per person.
These record figures follow one of the best low seasons ever registered on the Costa del Sol, which the president of the Tourist Board, Elías Bendodo, described as “brilliant and extraordinary”.
From October to May, 2.5 million tourists stayed in hotels in the area and that figure has only been exceeded during two low seasons before the crisis began.
In the most recent October-May period, the hotels registered 8.8 million overnight stays, and the average length of stay was 3.5 days. Last month, there were nearly two million overnight stays and 507,719 visitors. The forecast for August is also good. “We are very optimistic. This will be one of the most important months for years. I don’t dare to suggest what the figures might be, but they will be better than the years before the crisis,” said Bendodo.