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Tourists relax at Valle-Niza campsite in the file image. SALVADOR SALAS
Campsites, the only tourist accommodation whose 2022 figures beat 2019 on the Costa del Sol

Campsites, the only tourist accommodation whose 2022 figures beat 2019 on the Costa del Sol

Tourist apartments are operating at 19.5% below pre-pandemic levels as campers increased by 34% last year

Pilar mArtínez

Monday, 6 February 2023, 11:42

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Campsite accommodation across the province of Malaga has bucked the downward trend and grown above post-2019 levels, a tourism report has revealed. The rise in campsite figures is in stark comparison with the tourist apartment sector which is operating 19.5% below 2019 levels.

According to the latest figures from the Costa del Sol tourist board, some 7.1 million tourists visited the province in 2022, representing a 4.4% drop when compared to pre-pandemic levels. Despite a significant increase in the number of Spanish tourists visiting, the decrease in foreign visitors resulted in a 12.7% drop in international guests in tourist accommodation in Malaga. Overnight stays were two million fewer in 2022 when compared with pre-Covid booking numbers, representing a 7.2% decrease.

Campsites on the increase

Despite these numbers, the camping tourism sector has experienced huge growth, ending 2022 with a 34% increase in the number of people staying at campsites with a 45% increase in foreign tourists. This represents an 8% increase in growth, translating into 1.4 million overnight stays.

The numbers are especially positive when compared with the tourist apartment sector. With just a 2% increase in national tourists, the sector as a whole has had a 19.5% decline.

Hotels still lead

Hotel accommodation in the province is by far the largest sector, accounting for 20 million overnight stays of the 26.9 million in total. Despite a fall from 2019 numbers, this sector has shown signs of recovery, operating at only 2.5% down in traveller numbers and 4.5% in overnight stays from 2019 levels.

The report indicates that the impact of Covid is still being felt by the industry and continues to be seen in the closure of companies across the province. Malaga province has seen a 3.6% decrease in tourist businesses, that is, 482 companies have closed. Conversely, employment in the industry is at a higher level than pre-pandemic, with 120,535 workers more in 2022 than 2019, an increase of 1.7%.

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