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Tourists in the Patio de los Naranjos, alongside Malaga Cathedral, last Easter. SUR
Costa del Sol hotels forecast 78.5% occupancy rate for 'early' Easter week at end of March
Tourism

Costa del Sol hotels forecast 78.5% occupancy rate for 'early' Easter week at end of March

Experts in the tourism sector say that when Semana Santa falls in April it usually pulls in more visitors to Malaga province

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Tuesday, 27 February 2024, 12:03

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Costa del Sol and Malaga province hotels are predicting an occupancy rate of 78.5% during this year's Easter week, which falls early, according to initial forecasts.

There will be higher demand on the main days from 27 March to 1 April, from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday, with the occupancy rate set to rise to almost 81%, according to data provided by the Association of Hoteliers of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos). It added that last minute bookings, the weather and economic situation will determine whether the occupancy rate increases or decreases as the key date approaches.

Last year, Malaga province and Costa del Sol hotels recorded an occupancy rate of 84.2% during Easter week (Semana Santa), nine percentage points higher than 2022 (75.8%) and two percentage points lower than in 2019 (86%). However, during on the main dates (5 and 9 April) bookings soared to 87.8% - 40% of them were Spanish tourists and 60% were international visitors.

However, when Easter falls in March instead, hotel stays seem to dip due to cooler and more inclement weather and competition from events such as the Fallas celebrations in Valencia or the pull of the Sierra Nevada ski resort in Granada. Experts in the travel sector said that an April Easter generally pulls in more visitors than in March.

Malaga city and Ronda tend to register the highest demand, as was the case in 2023, Aehcos pointed out. Malaga city led hotel occupancy last year, with almost 93% between Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday. Ronda also stood out on the long weekend with 93.4% of hotel rooms booked.

A boost for March

If Easter causes March to close with an occupancy rate of 75%, it will be 2.82% lower than last year, hoteliers pointed out. "If we look at the data obtained last year, we can see that March closed in 2023 with an occupancy rate of 77%. This means that we are still 2.82% below the 2023 figures. And as for Easter, there is also a drop of 6.76% compared to last year's figures," they said.

Aehcos predicted Frigiliana, Torrox and Mijas will be the areas with the highest occupancy at the end of March, both with 83.66%.Meanwhile Nerja is expected to register 74.53% and Ronda 70%.

In the same report, hoteliers added that the occupancy rate recorded in Malaga province in February will be 70% by the month's end, compared to 65.1% last year.

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