Malaga’s famous gorge walk. / ÑITO SALAS

New company to take over the running of Caminito del Rey after current operator's appeal is dismissed

The successful bidder, a consortium of three companies, will manage one of Malaga’s major tourist attractions for five years and it has already set ticket prices and the number of visitors it will allow each day

ANDREA JIMÉNEZ

The management of the one of Malaga province’s major tourist attractions, the Caminito del Rey walkway, that is suspended some 100-metres in the air above a river gorge, is expected to change hands in the coming weeks.

A consortium formed by the construction company Sando, Salzillo Servicios Integrales and Mundo Management will take the reins of the well-known tourist destination after an appeal presented by the current operator, Hermanos Campano-Bobastro 2000 was rejected by a Junta de Andalucía administrative court.

Hermanos Campano-Bobastro 2000 has been in charge of the Caminito del Rey for more than five years and was one of the five applicants that bid for the new operating contact which was awarded to the new consortium in April. But the company presented an appeal questioning the viability of Sando's offer, claiming an "overestimation" of income amongst other things.

Appeal rejected

Now the appeal has been rejected the process to sign the new contract will resume. The first step will be its approval in the plenary session of the Diputación de Malaga provincial government, scheduled for 24 November. In the days following that, the contract would be signed by the consortium.

Ticket prices and visitor number limits

The bidding process for the management of the Caminito del Rey began in November of last year. In the winning bid, the consortium, headed by Sando, said it will keep the ticket price at ten euros and committed to pay an annual fee of 350,000 euros to operate the attraction and also pay a 46.30 percentage of the maintenance costs to the provincial government.

It also established that 60% of the tickets will be sold directly to individuals, 35% will be made available through authorised agencies and establishments; and 5% would be reserved for teaching, scientific and cultural nature visits, as well as for formal activities and the promotion of tourist activities.

As for the maximum influx of visitors, it will be set at 1,100 people during the first year (as at present), and can be expanded to 1,300 visitors for the next two years and 1,500 people in the last two years if authorised by the management of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes natural area.