Costa del Sol hotels warn of August holiday bookings slowdown

Tourists arrive at Malaga airport before heading to their holiday destination.
Tourists arrive at Malaga airport before heading to their holiday destination. / FRANCIS SILVA
  • The hoteliers association, Aehcos, has raised its occupancy rate forecast for this month to 62 per cent, but added that the arrival of fully-vaccinated British holidaymakers has not had much effect on the overall numbers

National tourism has help raise the hotel occupancy rates on the Costa del Sol and the hoteliers association, Aehcos, expects to close the month of July with a figure of 62 per cent.

An increase in the number vaccinated British holidaymakers arriving, coincided with booking cancellations from countries like Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, whose governments considered Spain an unsafe destination.

Aehcos president, José Luque, said the data is worrying as the number of British tourists arriving has not reached the level expected after the UK lifted quarantine requirements on English people, jabbed by the NHS, returning home.

“The effect has not yet been felt in Costa del Sol hotels and Fuengirola, Torremolinos and Benalmádena - the towns most dependent on the British market – are reporting occupancy rates of 47, 59 and 68 per cent, respectively,” he said adding, “and bookings have slowed down in August due to the increase in infection rates.” Performing better were Malaga city with occupancy rates of 77 per cent and Nerja (76 per cent) while Marbella registered 66 per cent/

Aehcos has called for another vaccination push to avoid another hit on tourism, as well as for the authorities to reconsider the metrics and prioritise hospital pressure statistics ahead of the coronavirus incidence rates.

And Luque warns that "the registered population is being taken into account for the incidence rate and not the floating population (of holidaymakers) when, in many cases, the latter can be double that of the resident population, as is the case in Marbella and other tourist towns."