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View of the swimming pool of a hotel on the Costa del Sol. SUR
Costa del Sol hotel occupancy forecasts improve for July and August

Costa del Sol hotel occupancy forecasts improve for July and August

Hoteliers say that figures are still below those of last year and that last-minute bookings will be key in the coming weeks

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Monday, 17 July 2023

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Hotel bookings along the Costa del Sol are starting to pick up again following a dry spell that had hoteliers worried occupancy rates this summer could drop below last year's figures.

The Association of Hotel Businessmen of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos) revealed that there has been a slight uptick in bookings which improves the occupancy forecast "slightly" for July and August.

July is expected to close with 84.1% of beds booked in the province, figures that are still 2% off records of the same period in 2022, where 86.2% of places were occupied. At the end of last month, hoteliers' expectations for July were at 82%.

"Since mid-May we have been seeing a decline in bookings, but in the last ten days we have noticed a very slight increase that still does not allow us to reach the 2022 figures, with domestic demand not reaching the desired levels," José Luque, president of Aehcos, said.

He pointed out that international tourism is once again gaining momentum, with foreigners accounting for 60% of total bookings, while domestic tourists represent 40%.

August outlook

Occupancy figures for August also show a slight improvement, although still far off last year's levels. A total of 83.5% of places are booked, far from the 88% that was reached in the same period last year.

The executive committee of Aehcos said: "these are still worrying figures. We will have to closely watch the evolution of the national market influenced by the rise in interest rates, inflation and rumours coming from the United States about a possible recession for the fourth quarter of 2023 and the beginning of 2024". Last-minute bookings will be key, Aehcos added.

By destinations, Torremolinos is the municipality with the highest percentage of hotel bookings in July with an estimated 93.9%, followed by Benalmádena, with 90.9%; Mijas, with 86.4%; Malaga city, with 86.3%; and Fuengirola, with 84.9%. In August, Torremolinos also leads the rankings.

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