Figures just released by the Aehcos hotel association on the Costa del Sol show that 92% of hotels in the area intend to remain open this winter, which is 2% more than last year. Some are still in two minds about whether to close, but 27 have notified the association that they will be doing so, and they account for 7.9% of the 342 hotels in Malaga province.
Javier Hernández, the executive vice-president of Aehcos, says the establishments which are closing are doing so for different reasons. In some cases it is due to uncertainty over a possible recession ahead in Spain and in key markets such as the UK and Germany, combined with high energy costs and the price of raw materials. Some owners have decided to be cautious and not take any risks this winter, especially as many companies are experiencing serious financial problems deriving from the pandemic.
Others, however, have decided this would be an opportune moment to carry out improvement works. Hernández said that 30% of the hotels which have decided to close for the winter are doing so because they want to improve their facilities in order to attract a higher level of visitors next year.
In recent weeks some emblematic hotels on the Costa del Sol like Los Monteros and Best Tritón have announced that they will be undergoing complete renovation this winter. “The main reason is that demand drops so much in the winter, followed by the need to update the facilities,” Hernández said.
Aehcos has said that Marbella and Benahavís are the areas of the Costa del Sol where the highest number of hotels plan to close this winter, mainly to carry out improvements, followed by Torremolinos and Rincón de la Victoria. However, some in Malaga city and Benalmádena will also be closing.
Although most expect to be ready to reopen in February or March, in some cases the improvements are so comprehensive that they will not accept bookings again until next summer.
Javier Hernández said it is important that hotels do update their facilities to improve what is on offer for tourists, and that many move up a category (for example from three-star to four-star) once the renovations are complete.