Pilar Martínez

Pilar has a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University in Malaga. She joined SUR in 1991 after working for TVE, Granada 2000, Diario 16 and Expansión. She has been the SUR specialist Tourism journalist for more than ten years.

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recent published articles

18/09/2020 16:51


Ryanair to reduce flights to 40% this October

The airline that moves the most passengers at Malaga Airport, Ryanair, has modified its flight schedule for October, reducing its capacity by an extra 20 per cent. The flights previously planned for next month were already 20 per cent down on last

18/09/2020 14:39


The devastating effects of a Costa with no tourists

When a hotel opens, the area around it is almost spontaneously revitalised. Likewise, when one closes, even for a few months, it has a devastating effect on local shops, bars and restaurants. That's why the spine-chilling forecast that 80 per cent of

07/08/2020 19:14


Turkish Airlines starts up again from Malaga

Turkish Airlines has started up its flights again from Malaga Airport following their suspension at the onset of the Covid-19 crisis. These are the only flights currently coming into the airport from outside Europe. From 1 August, Turkish is op

07/08/2020 16:17


Hotels expect August to be quieter than July, when occupancy was 40%

August is going to be even quieter than July was, say hoteliers on the Costa del Sol. Last month there was 40 per cent average occupancy, and they expect the average for the peak summer season to be 39.9 per cent at the very most. They attribute t

03/07/2020 19:42


Only around 60 hotels on the Costa del Sol have reopened so far

Wednesday marked the busiest day so far in terms of hotels and other tourist accommodation on the Costa del Sol reopening. Around a dozen welcomed visitors again, but data shows that there are barely 60 currently in operation. In Malaga city, the

03/07/2020 16:40


Malaga Airport reopens T3 as July begins with more than 100 flights

After three months of next to no activity, bosses at Malaga Airport this week reopened Terminal 3 (the newest wing) as the number of flights into and out of the Costa del Sol reached 123 on Wednesday. This figure is triple that of the daily figures

26/06/2020 17:58


Bookings for flights to Malaga shoot up 62 per cent in a week

As the Costa's hotels start reopening, the latest report from Turismo Costa del Sol shows that for the week 9 to 15 June, flight bookings to Malaga increased by 62 per cent compared to the previous week, coinciding with the government's announcement

12/05/2020 19:25


Ryanair to start flying to the Costa del Sol again on 1 July

Malaga airport's most important airline, Ryanair, has announced that it will resume flying to the Costa del Sol on 1 July. The company has confirmed that it will start with 40 per cent of its flights and will focus on maintaining a wide diversity o

08/05/2020 13:17


Costa tourism bosses angry that Canaries may get better treatment

There was outrage from Costa del Sol tourist-industry leaders on Thursday over a reported political deal on the Canary Islands to extend furloughing rights there. The national government had to fight for support from other parties to renew its stat

03/04/2020 12:54


Costa del Sol deserted at traditional start of peak season

Putting the clocks forward normally signals the start of the high tourist season on the Costa del Sol. However, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Malaga Airport was almost completely deserted on Monday, with just six flights coming in and four goin

27/03/2020 13:11


Hotels on the Costa fall empty after government orders their closure

Some hotel managers were visibly upset when we talked to them about the departure of their last clients earlier this week, after the government ordered them to close by 26 March because of the coronavirus. Their stories about these last travellers

16/03/2020 17:52


Costa's hotels set to close, leaving 12,000 people unemployed

From now until the end of the week, employers and trade unions are considering closing practically all hotels on the Costa del Sol. As a result, some 12,000 people will become unemployed. This is the first major consequence of the coronavirus crisis

02/03/2020 16:44


Four weekly Malaga-Tel Aviv flights to run from May

The airline Sun d'Or (owned by El Al) will have four flights a week to travel to Tel Aviv between the months of May and October. Malaga debuted its first direct flight to Tel Aviv back in 2017. Recent news about Air Europa's direct flights to Tel

07/02/2020 19:15


Tourism virus

The Wuhan coronavirus crisis has become more than just a health issue and is the first spanner to affect the works of the tourism sector this year. The situation goes to show just how sensitive this industry is, when good forecasts can collapse whe

10/01/2020 14:03


Daily flights to run between Malaga Airport and Doha this summer

Qatar Airways announced on Wednesday that it would be running a daily service between Malaga Airport and Doha (Qatar) throughout the months of July and August. The route, which will be run by a B777 aircraft between 24 May and 28 September, will bo

30/12/2019 20:03


Etihad Airways to touch down in Malaga

This summer, airline Etihad Airways will touch down in Malaga for the first time after announcing a new service this week that will connect the capital of the Costa del Sol with the UAE. In order to "satisfy the enormous demand from the Gulf States

31/10/2019 14:31


The AirBnB of motorhome rentals launches in Spain

The largest online platform for matching owners of holiday motorhomes with potential renters has set its sights on growing in Spain. Camplify, which was started in Australia and also operates in the UK, is to spend 1.2 million euros entering the Span

07/10/2019 17:38


Andalucía, ready to test the British water

The World Travel Market (WTM) in London has always been important for Andalusian tourism and this year's event, which takes place from 4 to 8 November, will be especially so. The tourism sector in Andalucía knows that this WTM will be a type of litmu

04/10/2019 14:26


Emirates search for new cabin crew members on Costa

Dubai-based global airline, Emirates, will be in Malaga on 14 October looking for new cabin crew. The recruitment drive will be organised around an open day at the city's NH hotel. People interested in participating can register online at the Emi

27/09/2019 11:29


Will Thomas Cook's demise affect the Costa del Sol in the long term?

While there are few immediate consequences for the Costa del Sol, the collapse of Thomas Cook, an operator which brings seven million visitors to Spain every year, is nonetheless a concern for the tourism industry. "This is really bad news," said F

20/09/2019 10:42


Pullmantur returns to Malaga's cruise port with autumn programme

A cruise line specialising in the Spanish-speaking market is returning to the port of Malaga. Pullmantur will be basing its cruise ship Horizon in the city for a series of departures this autumn. Five cruises will set sail between 20 October and 21 N

28/06/2019 16:49


Beach bars step up fight against plastic

The look of surprise on the faces of a group of foreigners, already seated at their table, when a plate of sardine skewers, a jug of 'tinto de verano' and some prawns were delivered, prompted some explanation. These were complimentary, they were told

15/06/2019 16:39


Nearly two million passengers used Malaga airport in May

Nearly two million passengers used Malaga airport during May, latest official figures reveal, taking the running total for the year up to 7.1 million after five months. related story An end in sight to second runway's TV obstacle at Malaga air

10/05/2019 14:28


Best winter season ever for Costa tourism, trade data shows

The head of the Costa del Sol tourist board, Francisco Salado, said last week that Malaga province had had its best winter season ever. Data published by Turismo Costa del Sol shows that 2.8 million passengers arrived at the airport between Novemb

06/05/2019 12:52


Three municipalities have 25% of all rural accommodation

Three municipalities are home to 25 per cent of all rural holiday accommodation in Malaga province, according to a report on sustainable tourism which was released by the Costa del Sol Tourist Board this week. Frigiliana heads the list, followed b

03/05/2019 18:25


A day of luxury in Malaga Port

For those who love luxury, the port in Malaga city was a joy to behold on Saturday. In fact, it was a day to remember, not just because an unusual number of cruise liners were visiting at the same time, bringing a wave of passengers into the city cen

12/04/2019 14:42


A fifth of jobs in Malaga province are in the tourism sector

A study released by a Costa del Sol planning body has reported that 20 per cent of jobs in Malaga province, including the Costa del Sol, are in tourism. The percentage is a long way above the national average of 13.7 per cent and the Andalusian regio

12/04/2019 13:48


Ikos begins work on luxury hotel complex in Estepona

The first all-inclusive luxury hotel complex in Spain created by Greek chain Ikos is starting to take shape. Works have got under way to transform the current Hotel Princess in Estepona into a beachfront complex with 411 rooms and 11 swimming pools

05/04/2019 12:00


Royal Caribbean to unveil new Spectrum of the Seas liner in Malaga

Cruise company, Royal Caribbean, has chosen Malaga as the first stop for its new liner, Spectrum of the Seas, which will dock in the city's port on 16 April straight from German shipbuilders, Meyer Werft. The company is promoting this latest addition

29/03/2019 17:30


Malaga waves goodbye to Norwegian Spirit

Cruiseliner Norwegian Spirit, which welcomes guests with a multi-million-euro Versace rug, left the Port of Malaga on Tuesday after 13 trips of ten days each since November, moving some 26,000 passengers. Now the ship, with capacity for 2,200 pass

08/03/2019 14:37


Norwegian puts 1.4 million seats on sale from Malaga Airport

The fourth biggest airline in terms of movements at Malaga Airport, Norwegian, has announced that it is stepping up its links to and from the Costa del Sol this summer. A total of 1.45 million seats are available on flights between Malaga Airport a

01/03/2019 14:57


New offers for flights to the Middle East

Turkish Airlines, the only operator connecting Malaga with Asia all year round, has announced that it will increase seat numbers on its flights to Istanbul by 30 per cent, with two flights a day. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways flights from the Costa del

22/02/2019 16:28



If the horizon for the tourism industry wasn't cloudy enough, the snap general election called for 28 April, combined with the municipal and European ballots on 26 May, create a scenario of uncertainty. In fact you could say that it goes beyond uncer

22/02/2019 14:51


Easyjet announces new Malaga-Porto link

British airline Easyjet has announced a new route between Malaga and Porto (Portugal) for this summer season. From 1 April flights will operate four times a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. With this new addition Easyjet fli

08/02/2019 19:28


Malaga gets summer link to Bahrain

Connections from the Costa del Sol to the Middle East are set to get even better this summer. Gulf Air, which flies from its hub in Bahrain, has announced that it will operate into Malaga from 14 June to 15 September. The new route is in addition

25/01/2019 14:13


Malaga-JFK route returns in May

Travellers from Malaga this summer will once again have a direct route to New York City after Delta Airlines announced that their Malaga-JFK route would be returning. The daily flights, which leave from the Costa del Sol at 8.15am, will run from 24

25/01/2019 13:59


Ryanair to offer direct flights to Tetouan

Budget airline Ryanair has announced another new route from Malaga Airport. As from April, there will be two flights a week between the Costa del Sol and Tetouan in northern Morocco. This is the latest new route offered by the Irish company after

25/01/2019 13:51


The 'new Costa del Sol' is launched in Madrid

A new Costa del Sol, with a renewed tourist offering, was presented to tourism operators and other industry professionals at a special dinner at the Palacio Duques de Pastrana on Wednesday night. Those in attendance were shown how the area had deve

11/01/2019 14:24


Language tourism expected to increase by eight to ten per cent

Language tourism is looking pretty healthy in the capital city of the Costa del Sol. The president of the Association of Spanish Schools in Malaga (Nacem), José María Casero, said this week that between eight and ten per cent more language students a

14/12/2018 13:28


Largest hotel complex on the coast gets rebrand and makeover

Finishing touches are being made to the transformation of three neighbouring hotels in Torremolinos owned by the same group into one unified complex. The well-known Don Pablo, Don Pedro and Don Marco hotels, in the Playamar area, will now be marke

14/12/2018 12:14


Airport passengers up 8% in November

Data published on Wednesday said that, compared to 2017, 8 per cent more people passed through last month, reaching 1.1 million monthly passengers. Passengers to and from Spain grew 10.2 per cent and international users by 7.7 per cent.

30/11/2018 14:38


UN tourism boss speaks at forum organised by SUR

The head of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), run by the United Nations, was in Malaga on Tuesday to address local business leaders and politicians at a forum organised by SUR. Manuel Butler has recently taken over at the WTO, which is based in

30/11/2018 12:36


Direct flights from Malaga to Tel Aviv resume next spring

Flights to Tel Aviv will resume for the high season after the success of the route which debuted this year. From March to October, two flights a week will connect the Costa del Sol with the biggest city in Israel. The route will be operated by the

05/11/2018 18:20


Andalucía expects to surpass 30 million tourists this year

Andalucía expects to reach the figure of 30 million tourists in 2018, despite the drop in British visitors to the region. The figure was announced by regional president, Susana Díaz, at the opening day of the World Travel Market in London. The fair

26/10/2018 12:19


September statistics show decline in hotel stays compared with 2017

According to statistics released this week by Spain's national statistics office, Andalucía beat previous years' records in terms of visitor numbers this summer, while the Costa del Sol saw a decline in the number of visitors this September compared

12/10/2018 18:04


October will see 58 cruise ships visit Malaga port

October marks the start of the peak season for cruise ships in Malaga and this month alone 58 ships are expected to visit the port, with a total capacity of 106,000 passengers. Each ship is expected to be around 80 per cent booked, which means tha

14/09/2018 15:29


Jet2 is offering 125 jobs on the Costa de Sol

The airline and its tour operating arm are looking for 125 new staff members to help boost its local team as it grows. In total 900 jobs are being offered across Spain. On the Costa del Sol specifically there are jobs in land operations

07/09/2018 16:20


The bubble deflates

We've reached the point where we can stop using the word 'record' in every headline. The minus sign has appeared in front of the most important tourism statistics on the Costa del Sol at the height of summer, after three consecutive years of record-b

23/07/2018 14:16


Ryanair to cancel 24 Malaga flights on 25 and 26 July

Four hundred Ryanair flights to and from Spain are to be cancelled this Wednesday, 25 July, and Thursday, 26 July due to strikes from cabin crew. A total 24 of these were scheduled to take off or land at Malaga airport. Flight cancellations and de

13/07/2018 20:31


Ryanair strikes to go ahead after unsuccessful mediation talks

Strikes set to affect Ryanair passengers across four countries look set to go ahead after the airline rejected the demands of cabin crew during mediation talks on Tuesday. The cabin crew, represented in Spain by the USO and Sitcpla unions, are call

06/07/2018 13:06


New restaurant choice landing soon for passengers at Malaga Airport

Bosses at Malaga Airport have just finished the tendering process to refresh the selection of bars and restaurants for passengers. Coming in later this year is new sushi restaurant Kirei By Kabuki, by chef Ricardo Sanz, and Bibo Brioche Bar by local

25/06/2018 14:25


Events organised to celebrate first Chiringuito Day on Wednesday

A new campaign to promote the Costa del Sol's traditional beach restaurants, known as chriringuitos, kicks off with the celebration of the 1st Chiringuito Day on Wednesday 27 June. The initiative was announced on Monday by the president of the Asso

22/06/2018 11:52


New online system for complaints about airlines

The busiest time of year for travel is about to start and this is when flight cancellations and delays are more likely. When this happens, people are usually entitled to make a claim against the airline but many fail to do so because they are going o

20/04/2018 22:05


Andalusian Supreme Court rules in favour of 'Las Kellys'

The Andalusian Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the so-called 'Las Kellys' (a collective made up of hotel cleaning staff), obliging the hotel sector to apply the 'convenio' (collective workers' agreement) for the hotel sector to staff carrying ou

20/04/2018 20:27


Caminito del Rey puts 100,000 more tickets on sale

One hundred thousand new tickets for the Caminito del Rey gorgeside walkway in El Chorro went on sale on Monday for the period June-October. According to the attraction's director, Francisco Campano: "Our forecasts are very positive. We expect to b

16/04/2018 19:25


Malaga airport now the third busiest in Spain

Malaga airport overtook Palma de Mallorca to become the third busiest in Spain last month. 1.3 million passengers travelled through the airport in March, which coincided with Holy Week, an 8 per cent increase on the previous month. The airport rec

13/04/2018 15:27


Las Kellys hit La Moncloa

The friendly greeting from the receptionist when you first arrive at a hotel and the smile from the waiter who serves you in the cafeteria or on the terrace are of vital importance. However it's just as fundamental, or even more so, for the room to b

28/03/2018 23:34


A sea giant, unveiled in Malaga

It was Holy Tuesday, and the people of Malaga walked in procession towards the Levante wharf in the port. This was not an Easter procession, however. They were doing so to take part in a unique event which would become part of the port's history: the

26/03/2018 20:17


Malaga gears up for presentation of world's biggest cruise ship

Malaga is preparing to welcome the latest sea giant, the cruise ship Symphony of the Seas. The latest addition to Royal Caribbean's fleet, with a capacity of over 6,700 passengers, will be in the city on Tuesday for its international presentation.

23/03/2018 15:21


The Costa del Sol continues to attract Russian tourism

The Costa del Sol has seen an increase in Russian tourists by 11.3 per cent in the last year. Figures from the Costa's tourist board have shown that around 90,000 people from Russia visited the Costa del Sol last year. Russian visitors are particul

02/03/2018 19:02


Malaga city to publish list of legal, approved holiday lets

From now on, people wanting to rent a tourist apartment or house in Malaga city will be able to check online first to see if the accommodation is officially registered with the Andalusian regional government and therefore complies with the law. Mal

03/11/2017 12:21


Hotels plan to spend 45 million euros on improvements

November marks the end of the summer season, although this year there were high hotel occupancy levels right up to the end of October and some hotels which had planned to close in the middle of the month decided to remain open a bit longer. A tota

13/10/2017 19:34


Fears over low cost airlines

Major turbulence is jeopardising the low-cost airline business. Not only are thousands of passengers affected, but it is causing new concerns in the tourism sector in Malaga province. Consumer associations say people should always make an official

03/10/2017 18:56


Delta Air Lines rules out year-round flight from Malaga to New York

Delta's promises to run the year-round direct flight between Malaga and New York in 2018 have been broken as the airline announced that the flight will only run in the summer. In its transatlantic flight schedule for 2018, the airline revealed tha

02/10/2017 18:45


Call for a network of inland villages to promote tourism

The PP group in the regional parliament is calling for the Junta de Andalucía to set up a network of inland villages in order to provide support and training and to help them take advantage of the possible opportunities from increased tourist numbers

29/09/2017 19:17


Malaga airport is not affected by the latest Ryanair cancellations

The airport which serves the Costa del Sol has not been affected by the latest flight cancellations announced by Ryanair, although more passengers travelling to and from Malaga use that airline than any other. The cancellations will be from October

11/09/2017 17:38


Tourism properties now outstrip hotels in Malaga and Marbella

The unstoppable growth of holiday rentals in the region has now seen numbers surpass those of hotels in both Malaga city and Marbella. Figures show that tourism properties, which have been regulated since 2016, have more than doubled in the past 15

05/06/2017 16:57


Hoteliers start to talk tough on British guests' false illness claims

Hoteliers are starting to get tough on the wave of British tourists suing over reported holiday illnesses. The organised claims from UK law firms have been affecting many areas of Spain and souring relations between the country and its most important

02/06/2017 10:33


Water send-off for first direct flight to Tel Aviv

The first direct flight from Malaga to Tel Aviv was launched on Sunday night, operated by the Israeli company El Al. Jets of water, which came from the Guadalhorce and Jordan rivers were released by fire engines to celebrate the inaugural flight.

30/05/2017 15:44


Hey, big spenders: Malaga airport is top

When passengers go to catch their flight at Malaga airport, there's no way for them to escape the duty-free shopping these days as the route from security control snakes past rows of glittering shelving. However, for the 16.6 million people that pass

26/05/2017 10:29


Improvements to the duty free shops

The seven duty free businesses at Malaga airport, which currently occupy over 3,200 square metres of space, are due to be refurbished this year to adapt them to new trends, with new fittings and the introduction of new brands. 2 million drinks are

26/05/2017 10:26


Chocolates, still a classic gift

The traditional Toblerone or classic bag of sweets never seem to go out of fashion. Sources at the airport calculate that about one million of these are sold every year. 1.5 million sandwiches and snacks are sold each year in the 7,000 square metre

26/05/2017 10:23


The attraction of local produce

An increasing number of passengers are buying products from Malaga these days. The most popular is local wine, with about 60,000 bottles a year being sold. There are plans to expand the range of products from Malaga in the future.

26/05/2017 10:22


Which product is sold the most?

By units, vodka is sold most at Malaga airport, although by sector the top seller is perfume. In terms of drinks, gin is the second most popular. 15,000 products are on sale in the duty free shops at Malaga airport, with perfume being the most pop

17/04/2017 13:49


Malaga to host main Mediterranean cruise industry trade fair in 2020

Seatrade Cruise Med, the most important cruise-industry trade fair in the Mediterranean and nearby area, will be held in Malaga in 2020. Bosses from major world shipping companies, representatives of ports and delegates from component industries wi

17/04/2017 13:36


Ryanair to offer 50 routes from Malaga airport next winter

The low-cost Irish airline, Ryanair, has announced that it will offer 50 routes from Malaga for next winter, including several new destinations. This increase will see the company operating the largest ever number of routes during the low tourist s

28/03/2017 16:43


Summer tickets for the Caminito del Rey now available online

Until this week, anyone planning a trip to the Caminito del Rey, the famous daredevil walkway in El Chorro, has not been able to book a slot for any later than 31 May. However, it is now possible to purchase tickets for June through to September from

17/03/2017 10:39


Luxury halal-certified hotel opens its doors in Torremolinos

Kuwaiti chain Costa del Sol Hotels has opened a new boutique hotel in Torremolinos which caters for the Arab market. The establishment, just three hundred metres from the beach, has 36 rooms. Named Costa del Sol Torremolinos Boutique Hotel, this is

03/03/2017 15:01


Andalucía sees big increase in foreign tourists in January

Government statistics have shown that there were 15 per cent more foreign tourists in Andalucía in January compared to the same month last year. Of the Spanish regions that receive the most international visitors, Andalucía saw the biggest increas

03/03/2017 14:54


Regional tourism chiefs head to Berlin for top travel fair

A hundred tourism officials and representatives of hotel and travel companies from Andalucía will travel to Berlin next week for the ITB fair. The huge event is recognised as the most important in the world for the volume of business generated for th

16/02/2017 11:08


Flights between Malaga and the UK increase this year by 15%

Passengers wanting to travel between the Costa del Sol and the UK this year will find more options available as the total number of seats available is to increase by 15%. "In total there are around 3.5 million seats on flights to the Costa del Sol,

20/01/2017 13:19


'More growth for Costa in 2017', say tourism chiefs at Fitur fair

The President of the Junta de Andalucía, Susana Díaz, officially opened the huge Andalucía stand at the Fitur travel show in Madrid on Wednesday amid official forecasts that 2017 is set to be another record year for tourism in southern Spain. Touri

19/01/2017 21:03


'More growth for Costa in 2017', say tourism chiefs at Fitur fair

The President of the Junta de Andalucía, Susana Díaz, officially opened the huge Andalucía stand at the Fitur travel show in Madrid on Wednesday amid official forecasts that 2017 is set to be another record year for tourism in southern Spain. Touri

17/01/2017 10:31


A record year for Malaga airport with 16.6 million passengers

A year to remember: 2016 was a record year for Malaga airport, with an extra two million passengers compared with 2015, bringing the total to 16.6 million. Figures issued this week by the Aena airports authority showed a growth of 15.7 per cent, almo

17/01/2017 10:12


Gran Hotel Miramar set to welcome first guests in mid-December

The latest edition to Malaga's burgeoning hotel scene is getting close to opening its doors. The Gran Hotel Miramar is nearing the end of a two-year restoration and is expected to see its first guests staying overnight from the second half of next mo