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 are expected to come to the city this year.
At the inauguration in Calle Larios of the first exhibition about this type of tourism and its importance, Malaga's councillor for Tourism, María del Mar Martín Rojo, explained that this is a key sector which brings 13 million euros to the city each year and plays an important role in attracting people to the region all year round; the 16,000 people who came to study Spanish in 2017 were spread throughout the year.
The exhibition marked the start of the second Malaga Education Week, which focuses on language tourism and the city's status as an international benchmark for Spanish tuition. Next week there will also be extra training days for Spanish teachers at the university, a conference about the value of the Spanish language as an economic resource, and an international workshop for professionals in the sector. There will also be two familiarisation trips for those interested in seeing what Malaga has to offer.
María del Mar Martín Rojo pointed out that according to the Cervantes Institute, 7.6 per cent of the world population is Spanish-speaking and nearly 22 million people are studying Spanish in 107 countries. In the USA it is the most popular language to study, and in the UK it is seen as the most important language for the future and the third most-used on the internet. "These statistics put into context the enormous potential of an industry which attracts more than 16,000 language students to Malaga every year," she said.