There was a notable increase in tourists this Easter. / marcos álvarez

After an 'excellent' Easter, the Costa del Sol tourism sector has high hopes for good summer

Average hotel occupancy in Malaga province was 80% and some were fully booked on Thursday and Friday, and owners of beach restaurants say their turnover was almost back to 2019 levels

JUAN SOTO Malaga

The tourism sector on the Costa del Sol is looking forward to a great summer after an Easter which exceeded all expectations. Although the figures were still lower than in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a feeling that the worst is now over and the best is yet to come.

Thanks to the beautiful weather, members of the Beach Business Association of Malaga (Aeplayas), are particularly pleased. The president, Manuel Villafaina, said turnover at the 'chiringuito' bar-restaurants at the weekend was as high as it was three years ago, and that business had been “magnificent,” especially on Maundy Thursday. He believes 2022 will be the year of recovery for his sector, and that it will be consolidated in 2023.

Hotels in the province reported an average occupancy rate of 83 per cent, thanks to last-minute bookings. Some, such as the AC Marriott Malaga Palacio in Malaga city, were completely full on Thursday and Good Friday.

Shops also did well. The president of the Comercio Malaga Federation, Salvador Pérez, said there were a lot of visitors and business was not far off that of 2019. He believes this bodes well for the summer. “Easter is always said to be a thermometer to test how things will be at the height of the season. If nothing happens in-between, it looks as if this will be a good summer for the retail sector,” he said.