Tourists at Malaga Airport. / SALVADOR SALAS

Costa del Sol steps up actions to attract more tourists this autumn and winter

The move follows warnings from the government and experts of downturns due to unstoppable inflation and energy cuts

Pilar Martínez

The Turismo Costa del Sol tourism board has designed a promotional offensive to maintain tourist arrivals in the last quarter of this year. The move follows warnings from the government and experts that there are downturns coming at the end of the year, as countries enter recession due to unstoppable inflation and energy cuts.

Francisco Salado, president of the tourism board, said that while numbers of domestic tourists, as well as those from the Netherlands, Italy, Norway and Morocco, experienced increases in the first six months of the year compared to the first half of 2019, numbers from the main markets were down. Worryingly, numbers of tourists from the UK and Germany closed the first half of the year at more than 20 per cent below those of the same period in 2019.

Salado said his organisation has planned a series of actions ranging from participation in major tourism fairs, not only in Europe but also in the United States, and also the organisation of specific professional conferences to promote segments still heavily impacted by the pandemic such as congress and business. In addition, the number of familiarisation trips to get to know the destination 'in situ' has increased, both for travel agents and journalists.

Antonio Díaz, managing director of Turismo Costa del Sol, said: "We have very up-to-date information and this allows us to react quickly. We cannot let our guard down at this time. On the contrary, we have to increase our promotional activities and try to make sure that we are affected as little as possible by the new economic situation or the energy cuts. We have to be there at the forefront.”

In addition to attending the main professional events, including the World Travel Market in London, where work is being carried out on a very special display to recover this market, there are also plans to participate in the Routes fair, held in Las Vegas, which specialises in the air transport sector. At this event, the tourism board intends to organise a presentation to build on the work that is in place to recover the flight connecting Malaga with the United States as soon as possible.