British holiday bookings dry up 'costing' Costa hotels 25 million euros a week

The travel trade is worried that many British tourists may not arrive until at least August.
The travel trade is worried that many British tourists may not arrive until at least August. / ÑITO SALAS
  • Hoteliers warn that the situation on the coast is critical after PM Boris Johnson extended the UK's easing of coronavirus measures for another month, and reservations to the Costa del Sol have since tailed off

A hotel trade association on Spain’s Costa del Sol is warning that that the situation is critical and the viability of many companies is at risk following the UK’s decision to extend the current the Covid-19 measures for another month before considering easing restrictions, and the resulting uncertainty is affecting holiday bookings to the coast.

The Costa del Sol hoteliers association, Aehcos, chaired by José Luque, has said that the demand from tourists from the United Kingdom has suddenly stagnated, and subsequently it has lost around 185,000 overnight stays a week, which equates to a loss of between 20 and 25 million euros in income for hotels holiday apartments on the Costa del Sol.

Between June and August 2019 the coast received one million British tourists.

Luque has warned that, because of fears that international holiday travel from the UK is unlikely to be resumed in great numbers before August, "Summer 2021 is in the balance.”

Luque said, “The recent opening of some 14 hotels in 15 days, making a total of 193 Costa de Sol establishments open on 14 June, has not only not generated more beds, but led to a drop in occupancy rates by practically a point and a half, going from 40.48 per cent to 38.93 per cent."

Aehcos has since amended its forecasts for the summer and now estimates the average occupation level at below 50 per cent for the high season, a figure that it says puts the viability of many companies at risk.