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File image of holidaymakers enjoying the sun and swimming pool at a hotel on the Costa del Sol. SUR
Hotel prices on Costa del Sol reach record highs with rates much higher than Spain's national average
Tourism

Hotel prices on Costa del Sol reach record highs with rates much higher than Spain's national average

The ranking for Malaga province is led by Marbella, with an average price per night of 146.10 euros; and Estepona, at 136.40 euros

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Monday, 26 February 2024, 11:50

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Prices for hotels along the Costa del Sol have hit record highs with visitors now paying a third more for their stay than they did in 2019, new data shows.

The average rate last year stood at 121 euros, some 31.6% more than 2019, according to figures from the Boletín de Coyuntura Hotelera de Turismo Costa del Sol.

The rate is  higher than the national and Andalusian averages. In 2023 tourists paid an average of 110 euros for a night's stay in a hotel in Spain, and 105 euros in Andalucía. The average rate increase along the Costa del Sol coincides with rising costs for hotels, with businesses forced to pay 25% extra for energy, 29.1% more for supplies and financial costs (18.9%). Difficulty to find workers have also caused hotels to spend 17% more in labour costs, the report added.

Tourist arrivals

However, the increase in prices has not had an impact on tourist arrivals on the Costa del Sol, instead it's had the opposite effect with 6.2 million visitors recorded in 2023, some 7% more than in 2019. It also posted historic records in overnight stays, with more than 21.3 million, an increase of almost 5%.

However, this rise in prices is one of the factors that caused a slight decline in the number of nights booked by Spaniards. Bookings by Spanish visitors dropped 1.2% of hotel nights last year compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic, a decrease cushioned by the 7% increase in foreign stays, which exceeded 15.5 million.

The report also pointed out that tourist spending reached a record high of 19,137 million euros. A large part of this came from the spending of the 14 million travellers who chose the Costa del Sol last year for their holidays, 7.1% more compared to 2019.

Marbella, Estepona and Malaga, in the 'top 5' of profitability in Spain

Marbella, Estepona and Malaga city are consolidated in the top five of holiday and urban destinations with the highest hotel profitability in Spain, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Tourism (Exceltur), which in its latest report pointed out "the big improvement in income in the Spanish sun and beach areas is taking place in parallel to a context of notable private investment".

This places the Costa del Sol as the leading holiday destination on the Spanish mainland, only preceded by the Balearic and Canary Islands. According to the figures, the highest price per room is led by Ibiza with an average of 177.60 euros, followed by San Josep on the island of Ibiza itself, with 173.80 euros; Santanyí in Mallorca, with 148.20 euros; Marbella, with 146.10; and Estepona, with 136.40.

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