The Tourism Information Centre in Torremolinos is hosting an interesting exhibition which includes the Montesa Impala from the film El Puente, which starred Alfredo Landa in 1960, a poster advertising the first flight between the Costa del Sol and Scandinavia, a mannequin dressed in the uniform of the Kar-Air airline which operated that route in the 1950s and the cap worn by one of its pilots. And that is by no means all. Altogether there are 1,500 items in this display, which it is hoped will form the basis of a future National Tourism Museum.
The exhibition is already attracting a great many visitors. It has been organised by the Friends of the Tourism Museum Association, whose president is Luis Utrilla. “We believe that now, after 50 years, the time has come to study the tourism industry as a social phenomenon and the driving force of Malaga. We think a museum is the best way to raise awareness of the importance of tourism,” he said recently.
Utrilla also pointed out that there are already half a dozen national museums outside Madrid, such as the Naval Museum in Cartagena, the Roman Art Museum in Mérida, the Romanticism Museum in Valladolid, the Ceramics Museum in Valencia and the Science and Technology Museum in La Coruña.
He said that Malaga has the history and plenty of reasons to house a National Tourism Museum and that it would organise educational programmes and activities to show what the industry signified for Spain in its early stages and how it has developed.
Among the items on display in Torremolinos are the first tourist guide to Malaga, published in 1898, and pages from James Michener’s 1971 book The Drifters, (published in Spain as Hijos de Torremolinos), a best-seller in the USA in which the municipality is defined as ‘an endless beach; mountains to protect from the wind. It is not a town. It is not a village. It is something never before seen in the world’.
Those who work in the tourism industry in Malaga now still feel the same, and they are keeping their fingers crossed that before long there will be a Tourism Museum which is also something never before seen in the world.