View of a beachfront hotel on the Costa del Sol. SUR
Best year ever for hotels on the Costa del Sol, driven mainly by international tourism

Best year ever for hotels on the Costa del Sol, driven mainly by international tourism

December is forecast to be in line with pre-pandemic records, after the month of November registered occupancy rates above the record year of 2019

Pilar Martínez


Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 16:22


The Aehcos association of hoteliers on the Costa del Sol has predicted that 2023 will be the best year in the sector's history. In their first assessment of the last twelve months, the hotel body stated that "it will be the year of the definitive recovery of tourism in Malaga province".

The latest figures back this up assertion: the average occupancy levels on the coast and across Malaga province will reach 77% occupancy, which is 1.4% above the level of the previous record year of 2019. The strength of the destination and demand will allow growth this year of 6.25% above 2022 figures, when the average occupancy was 70.75%.

Aehcos expects a 52.1% occupancy rate for this December, which is the same as last year and is 3% lower than before the pandemic. However, the employers' association points out that this decline could be overcome with last-minute bookings. "These are provisional forecasts given that we have to wait for the behaviour of potential tourists during this month," Aehcos' executive committee said.

By destination, the hoteliers' body said that this December the municipalities of Frigiliana and Torrox are at the top of the ranking, with a 75% occupancy rate. They are followed by Benalmádena, with 55%; Nerja, with 41.2%; and Mijas with 38.7%.

International tourism

Aehcos also highlighted the good performance of November when hotels on the Costa del Sol registered an average occupancy rate of 71.4%. These figures are around 10% above those recorded last year when occupancy was 64.8% and are also slightly above the 2019 figures.

International tourism is driving the increase and accounts for 75% of travellers, compared to a Spanish demand that the hotel association considers "stagnant". José Luque, president of Aehcos, said that "we see a clear improvement in these figures with a significant recovery of the international tourists, but we want to appeal to the national tourism market in Spain for the month of December and particularly the long 'puente' (bridge) Consitution Day week holiday".

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