Bigger and better is the idea behind the Junta's scheme. / sur

Fifteen hotels on the Costa del Sol set to invest 200 million euros on modernisation works

A decree approved by the Junta de Andalucía in July last year enables establishments to enlarge their premises by up to 20 per cent and update their facilities to attract higher quality tourism

Pilar Martínez

The Costa del Sol hotel sector is about to be transformed. Fifteen establishments are to spend nearly 200 million euros on modernisation works, including energy saving measures and adapting to the new demands from travellers. This comes after new regulations were issued by the Junta de Andalucía in July last year, which mean that in some cases the hotels can increase in size by 20 per cent.

Malaga province is leading this type of investment in the region, with improvements totalling 400 million euros. The president of the Aehcos hotel association on the Costa del Sol, José Luque, has said the works are only beginning now because it is taking about a year to obtain the licence for them.

Success in the Balearics

These initial projects are just the start of a transformation which has already taken place in competing destinations such as the Balearic Islands, Murcia and the Canary Islands. José Luque said the modernisation in the Balearics has not only created over 7,500 jobs but has significantly increased their popularity as a tourist destination.

He believes that more than 7,000 jobs could also be created in Andalucía and that the Costa del Sol can only benefit from this hotel modernisation scheme. “This decree allows hotels to increase their facilities and services and adapt to emerging markets. The sector will be able to attract even higher quality tourism,” he said.

The new rule, which applies to hotels and tourist apartments in Andalucía, generally allows an enlargement to existing buildings of 15%, or up to 20% in certain cases. It means that many establishments will be able to increase their standard and therefore make them more competitive.