British tourists enjoying a holiday on the Valle-Niza campsite. / salvador salas

Malaga and Costa del Sol tourist accommodation registered 10.3 million overnight stays during the three peak summer months

However, passenger numbers at Malaga Airport show a drop of 14.8% in British visitors arriving by air, compared with 2019. The second biggest source market for this area, Germany, also saw a drop of 23%

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ Mlaga

Hotels and other types of tourist accommodation on the Costa del Sol registered 10.3 million overnight stays between June and August this year, according to figures just released by Spain's National Institute of Statistics which included hotels, apartments, rural houses and campsites.

This was just under 4% lower than in the summer of 2019, although that was a record year.

In August, the number of visitors from elsewhere in Spain increased by 1.2% compared with 2019, but the number of tourists from abroad staying in hotels on the Costa dropped by 6.6%. Although the average length of stay increased, hotel occupancy levels were below 80%, and were 2.9% lower than in the summer of 2019.

While tourist apartments suffered most from the impact of the pandemic, accounting for just 16% of overnight stays and 22% of the number of visitors, campsites did very well with 2.5% more guests. However, this was not enough to bring them back to 2019 levels.

With regard to rural houses used for holiday lets, there were more guests in the summer but the length of stay dropped because bookings by international tourists were down by 36%.

More beds to fill

Experts point out that the increase in the number of holiday let properties should also be taken into account when analysing the figures. In August 34.8% more such properties were registered compared with the same month in 2019. The number of beds available has risen to 494,219, which is almost 22% more and means there are 88,715 more beds to fill.

So far this year, self-catering accommodation has registered 19 million overnight stays, which was 7.5% lower than before the crisis. Nevertheless, in the first eight months of the year the number of people staying on campsites rose by 31% and the number of overnight stays by 8%.

Compared with the record numbers of Spanish tourists staying in hotels on the Costa del Sol, passenger numbers at Malaga Airport show a drop of 14.8% in British visitors arriving by air, compared with 2019. The second biggest source market for this area, Germany, also saw a drop of 23%.