Nerja Caves Foundation hopes to top visitor numbers next year

Improved access and lighting are included in the 2018 budget.
Improved access and lighting are included in the 2018 budget. / J. R.
  • The 2018 budget was approved last week and includes increased investment for research, accessibility, lighting and museum reforms

Publishing its budget for 2018 on Wednesday, the Nerja Caves foundation said that it wants to maintain high visitor numbers in 2018.

At the end of 2016, the foundation announced that more than 432,000 people had visited the site; a 5.2 per cent increase on the previous years. Figures for 2017 have yet to be published but managers have said that they hope to reach 475,000 visitors in 2018. The numbers aren't as high as the caves' record, which reached more than half a million in the early 2000s.

The entity approved a budget of 3.9 million euros for the coming year, which includes more research into the caves. The budget allows for 274,000 euros to be spent on conservation and research.

President of the foundation and member of parliament for Malaga, Miguel Briones, said that the budget was, “continuous but ambitious”.

The caves are awaiting a decision from Unesco as to whether they will be considered as a candidate as a World Heritage Site.

The budget showed a balanced budget with no deficit, which will allow the foundation to increase its investments up to 421,000 euros. Briones highlighted a “significant” increase in the promotional budget, both in terms of visitors to the caves and Nerja museum as well as scientific research and education programmes.

The international music and dance festival, which takes place every June and July and will be in its 59th year in 2018, is set to receive an investment of 260,000 euros.

Briones also announced that other planned projects include improved access and lighting in the caves as well as a third phase of reforms to the Nerja museum.