Tourists enjoying a holiday on the Valle-Niza campsite. / salvador salas

Campsites and self-catering properties in rural areas are doing well after the pandemic

While this type of accommodation has exceeded 2019 occupancy levels, the hotel and tourist apartment sector on the Costa del Sol is still finding it challenging

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ Malaga

The pandemic has led to an increased interest in holidays on campsites and self-catering accommodation in rural areas, and a report from Spain's National Institute of Statistics shows that this sector has already begun to recover from the crisis and has even surpassed 2019 levels in some cases.

In the six months until the end of June, there were 618,640 overnight stays on campsites, which was 11.2% more than during the same period three years ago. The number of visitors from Spain and abroad rose by 48.5%, and average occupancy levels were 41.8%, which was 2.4 points higher than before the pandemic.

Other self-catering accommodation in country areas, such as cottages for holiday lets, also received 34.2% more visitors than in the first half of 2019 (62,267) and the number of overnight stays was similar to three years ago, at 234,389. Average occupancy levels were also higher in these six months.

Costa hotels and apartments

The situation for hotels and tourist apartments has been somewhat different as this sector is still showing signs of the damage caused to business by two years of restrictions on movements between countries.

A report by the Costa del Sol Tourist Board shows that hotels ended the first half of the year with 5.4% fewer visitors than in 2019 and 7.1% fewer overnight stays. Average occupancy has also been 4.4 points lower than in the first six months of 2019, at 57.4%, and there were 449 fewer jobs than three years ago. Things did start to improve in May and June, however. Hotels on the Costa recorded 0.3% more overnight stays in the first half of 2022, at 2,176,816.

However, the tourist apartment sector is still struggling to get over the impact of the coronavirus crisis, with 21.6% fewer visitors between January and June and nearly 23% fewer overnight stays, at 2.2 million. The overall situation is nearly 10% below that of 2019.