Hotel bookings are lower than expected for July and August. / sur

June looks like being the busiest month for tourism on the Costa del Sol this summer

The Aehcos hotel association says bookings are down in July and August, partly due to the impact of the war in Ukraine, increasing inflation and problems at UK and European airports

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ

June appears to be the busiest month for tourism in a summer when hotel occupancy levels are not expected to return to those prior to the pandemic, according to figures from the Aehcos hotel association on the Costa del Sol. At present July, with hotel occupancy at 78.7%, is looking better than August, when they are only at 77.2% even though that is normally the peak month for holiday bookings.

Aehcos says June is likely to end with an occupancy rate of 81.8%, two points below the same month in 2019. This is creating uncertainty in the sector, because in May this year the levels were better than they had been before the pandemic.

The change is believed to be due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the increasing inflation rate and problems at airports which are leading to people cancelling their bookings and changing their holiday plans.

There have also been problems at European airports, with flights being cancelled and long delays at border and security controls.

By municipality, Malaga city has had the highest hotel occupancy rate in June, at 88.5%, partly because former US president Barack Obama was in town last week to speak at a conference. Nerja was second highest with 83.9%, followed by Benalmádena with 83.8%, the Axarquía with 81.81% and Fuengirola with 80.42%.