Malaga city (file image). SUR
Capital of the Costa del Sol is on a mission to focus on quality tourism instead of quantity
Summer tourism data

Capital of the Costa del Sol is on a mission to focus on quality tourism instead of quantity

Malaga wants to double the number of five-star hotel beds on offer in the city over next four years

Pilar Martínez


Friday, 15 September 2023, 14:30

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Malaga has set itself a target to double the number of five-star hotel beds on offer in the capital of the Costa del Sol over the next four years, in a bid to become a tourism powerhouse of Europe.

Mayor Francisco de la Torre said the city needs more luxury hotels, to which councillor for Tourism Jacobo Florido added that they plan to double its offer of five-star hotels in the next four years.

De la Torre and Florido talk about Malaga's successful summer for tourism.

It comes amid a booming year for tourism, which by the year's end, is expected to break records. "We have to grow in quality rather than quantity. We have to encourage developers and investors to plan top-level hotels in the city. There are actions pending, although the process is slow," De la Torre said.

The Costa del Sol closed the summer with an average occupancy rate of 90.5% among four and five star hotels, the latter with even higher bookings that have raised the average to 92.1% between June and August. Occupancy forecasts are 91% full for rooms this September and about 80.5% full in October.

"This is a record year for tourism. The city has demonstrated its strength and its potential as a top tourist destination, but it wants to do more in terms of excellence and quality. We have to enter the powerful, high-spending Asian markets and continue to work on others with high growth expectations, such as the United States and Canada," the mayor added. The average price per room in five-star hotels in Malaga is about 267 euros.

Malaga to New York direct flight

De la Torre said he was confident the direct flight from Malaga to New York, which started operating this summer with United Airlines three times a week and sparked a boom in American tourism, will continue to operate for several months after this September. He also provided data from Amadeus, which showed that from this month until January 2024 "a strong increase" is expected in North American tourists to the Costa del Sol. Within Europe, there are increases of 74% in the arrival of Italians and 35% in the arrival of Dutch passengers expected, De la Torre said.

High season

In June and July there were 610,131 overnight stays and an average stay of 2.26 days in Malaga, according to Spain's national statistics institute (INE). "It is important to point out that Malaga had an occupancy rate of 87.9% in June, the second highest among large cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants, above Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid and Zaragoza," De la Torre said.

Two out of every three tourists who chose Malaga city as a summer destination were international, with the majority of visitors coming from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and the United States.

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