Friday, 3 November 2023, 16:50
More hotels are to remain open than close in autumn and winter 2023-24 on Granada’s Costa Tropical. Just 30 per cent of hotels in Almuñécar-La Herradura have already closed or are planning to do so over the winter months and some of those that are closing are doing so to carry out reforms or modernisation.
According to tourism sources in the coastal resort, 2022 saw the return of international visitors and in 2023 tourist establishments have returned to normality with some places increasing the number of visitors compared with pre-pandemic numbers.
In 2020 and 2021, 90 per cent of the 7,000 beds in the two towns were not open for reservations and more than 800 jobs directly linked to the tourism sector were affected. In 2022 around half of the beds were open for reservations.
This year the scenario is different and only holiday resorts such as the Albayzín del Mar, Playacálida, of the Senator chain, Sol los Fenicios, Best Alcázar and On Aleta Room have closed their doors. In addition to these establishments, the hotel Ibersol Almuñécar Beach and Spa has closed its doors for three months for renovations.
According to Jesús Megías, president of the hoteliers and director of the Albayzín del Mar, the town maintains a high occupancy rate with more than 60 per cent from Sunday to Thursday and many are close to full at weekends.
Until now, the average occupancy rate has been around 80 per cent at weekends and some have even achieved 100 per cent occupancy over public holidays and long weekends, such as 12 October.
During the week, hotels remain strong with occupancy rates of over 50 per cent thanks to the combination of international and national tourism, although in winter national tourism will drop off.
The first tourists from the Nordic countries have already arrived in Almuñécar. For years, the groups of Spanish pensioners who enjoy the government's ‘Imserso’ social holiday programme, have allowed Almuñécar’s hotels to remain open in autumn.
Since 2010, the retirees have come from Germany, Belgium or Sweden to spend long periods of time in the area during the winter months. However, Almuñécar also attracts international tourism during the summer months and this year it has also achieved 26 per cent foreigners, which is higher than in previous years. In 2023 the average annual occupancy rate in the area’s hotels has been 70 per cent.
"The tourist board's international promotion campaigns are beginning to bear small fruit in terms of increasing the percentage of international tourists. We understand that this is the right way to go and we will continue in this direction. More and more companies and services are operating all year round," said councillor for tourism Daniel Barbero.
The recovery of the tourism sector since the pandemic has also been noticeable in other coastal towns in Granada province. At the Salobreña Suites hotel owner Manolo Martín, explained that this winter, unlike in 2022, they will remain open except for a period during which reforms will be undertaken at the three-star hotel. Martín explained that the volume of bookings has improved compared to the previous year.
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