During a ceremony held at the Palacio de Congresos conference centre on Saturday, Torremolinos paid tribute to the pioneers of tourism, those people who contributed to the flourishing of what was a nascent sector at the time, and who played a fundamental role in creating what is today the Costa del Sol.
The town’s mayor, Margarita del Cid, and the president of the Diputación de Málaga and Turismo Cota del Sol, Francisco Salado, hosted the event, which was attended by representatives of the different sectors that make up the tourism industry on the Costa del Sol.
“This act does justice to the work, tenacity and courage of all those who made this change possible. The Costa del Sol was a pioneer, and continues to be, in many areas thanks to the professionals who dedicate themselves body and soul to their businesses,” Salado said.
The president pointed out that more than 14,000 companies and 117,000 families make a living from the sector in the province.
“Tourism is the industry of leisure, fun, security and happiness and, in these attributes, the Costa del Sol is the undisputed leader,” he added.
Salado claimed that between June and August of this year, despite the uncertainty of the current situation marked by the war in Ukraine, the rise in the price of raw materials and the energy crisis, the Costa del Sol had reached the record figures of 2019, which he said was the best tourist year in history, with revenues of close to 7,400 million euros, and 5.7 million tourists.
“Torremolinos plays a fundamental role in the Costa del Sol as a whole, which now sets itself the objectives of strengthening, consolidating and recovering those indicators that we can still improve in the coming months,” he said.
He also stressed that the public and private sectors must continue to seek new market niches and offer a better service to tourists. Salado, who has shown his objection to the application of a tourist tax, highlighted the importance of elements related to technology and digitisation, sustainability, connectivity and competitiveness.
Margarita del Cid said, “Torremolinos has had what no other place had, the pioneers of tourism. These people knew how to build a business model, and also a lifestyle, a particular idiosyncrasy: no one had known how to do this up to that moment.”
The mayor said she had “admiration” for the hoteliers who have opted for the town for the last 70 years, turning it into “a first-class hotel resort”. She also commended the quality of the nightlife, and the dedication of local traders in areas such as the “emblematic” Calle San Miguel, while also thanking tour operators, travel agencies and guides, which she claimed were sectors that allowed tourism to be “professionalised as an industry”.