A tourist in Malaga taking photos of the processions before the pandemic. / sur

Costa del Sol hotels expect to be over 70% full at Easter, with inland occupancy reaching 90%

Some places are almost fully booked already and the Aehcos hoteliers association says there may be last-minute reservations, depending on the weather forecast

Pilar Martínez

Hotel bookings on the Costa del Sol are giving cause for optimism about the number of tourists who will visit the area over Easter, as councils work against the clock to repair the damage from the storms. So far, it looks as if occupancy levels will be over 70 per cent and, in places such as Benahavís and Ronda, the hotels will be practically full. The expected occupancy levels in Malaga city, Marbella, Benalmádena and Antequera are also above the average for the province.

The figures have been released by the Aehcos hoteliers association, whose president, José Luque, says this will be a very positive contribution to the economic recovery of Malaga province after the pandemic.

Bookings so far indicate that 51 per cent of visitors over Easter are from abroad, compared with 49 per cent from elsewhere in Spain. However, on the most important days as far as processions are concerned, from Wednesday until Sunday next week, 55 per cent of reservations have been made by Spanish clients.

Aehcos says that between 8 and 18 April, Benahavís is likely to have 97 per cent of its hotel rooms booked, while Ronda can expect 90 per cent. Elsewhere in the province, Marbella’s hotels are looking at occupancy levels of nearly 76 per cent, Benalmádena 74 per cent and Nerja around the same figure. Between Easter Wednesday and Sunday, the busiest hotels will be in Ronda, with 90 per cent occupancy, Frigiliana-Torrox, with 85%, Marbella 78.9%, Benalmádena 77.6%, Antequera 76.7% and Malaga city with 75.2%. However, before the pandemic, the hotels in these places would probably have been completely full.

Will there be many last-minute bookings? The president of Aehcos believes there will, although he says it depends a great deal on the weather forecast.