Calle Larios was a sea of heads on Saturday afternoon, the first day of celebrations in the city. :: ÑITO SALAS
337,000 tourists and visitors came to Malaga Fair in 2013, according to a survey by Sopde. Of these, 139,500 stayed overnight in the city and 197,000 came for the day or the evening. This year’s figures are expected to be higher.
97% was the estimated occupancy figure in hotels in the city during the fair, according to the Aehcos hostelry association.
6,000 passengers arrived in Malaga on board three cruise liners during the fair.
37.5 million euros is the global economic impact generated by tourists who visit Malaga during the fair, according to Sopde and based on last year’s figures.
29.4% of tourists who took part in a survey said the cleaning during the fair needed to be improved. 23.2% said everything was fine.
88.4 euros was the average amount spent per person per day during the Feria. Most visitors (28.3%) stayed in four-star hotels or (26%) at the homes of friends or family.
41.4% of visitors from outside the city who attended the daytime fair were foreigners, as were 32.4 per cent of those who visitedthe fairground in the evening.
Malaga Fair means fun for many people of this region and hard work for others. While some eat, drink, dance and laugh, there are always those on the other side of the bars and the hotel reception desks. The week of the August Fair is the icing on the cake of the summer season for hotel, bar and restaurant businesses and this year that icing appears to be even sweeter than last year. A survey carried out by the Aehcos hostelry association last week showed a 97 per cent occupancy rate in the city’s hotels for the weekend. In other words, they were nearly full.
“It is important not to say that we are completely full because there is always a room somewhere for anyone who feels like visiting us,” says the vice-president of the association, Francisco Moro. He confirms that the figures have been slightly higher than in 2013. “Last year we were euphoric because it was a surprise, we weren’t expecting it, but even so these are very good figures,” he says.
For the city’s councilor of Tourism, Julio Andrade, the figures show that “changing the dates of the fair proved to be a positive thing for the sector, because it has lengthened the summer season”. Judging by the reactions, the sector agrees.
The manager of the Molina Lario hotel, Myriam Ortiz, confirms that this second weekend will be especially positive for her hotel, “maybe because of the bullfight with José Tomás”, and she is pleased that the public holiday fell during the fair this year, as it made the weekend longer.
Her counterpart at the Malaga Palacio hotel, agrees. “Some clients come every year because Malaga Fair has something for everybody. We have people from Marbella, Cordoba and Madrid who stay for the whole week, every year.”
Boom in apartments
While mentioning places to stay in Malaga city, we should not forget the boom in tourist apartments. This is an increasingly successful phenomenon in all tourist resorts but especially so in Malaga because of the number of empty buildings in the historic city centre.
Five of these have been restored by the Urban Living company, which has also just opened its first hotel, the Casa Miraflores, in a mansion in Calle Denis Belgrano.
“We were completely full at weekends and from Mondays to Thursdays we were between 85 and 90 per cent full. There is a high demand, especially from groups of up to 20 friends,” says manager Martin Nielsen.
The final figures have not yet been collated, but it is pretty clear that even more people have been to the Malaga Fair this year than in 2013, when 139,500 visitors came and stayed overnight in the city and 197,000 others came but didn’t stay.