Tourism returned to pre-pandemic levels in May. / salvador salas

Hotel prices on the Costa del Sol have risen 21% this year, compared with 2019

The average cost of a hotel room in the province is now 111 euros a night, but hoteliers point out that average costs for the sector have risen by 247%

PILAR MARTÍNEZ Malaga

Energy, fuel and basic food items are immersed in a rising spiral of prices and the tourism sector is no exception. The latest report from the National Institute of Statistics for May shows that hotel prices rose by about 21% in Malaga province in the first five months of this year. The average room rate rose from 93.4 euros a night to 111 euros in May, which was an increase of 23% on the price in the same month in 2019.

Hotel prices are dependent on demand: if demand is high the prices go up, and vice versa.

Even so, in the context of high inflation and record energy and fuel prices, a report from the Aehcos hotel association on the Costa del Sol warns that the average cost per client for hotels has risen by 247.6% since 2019. In the year before the pandemic, there were 27.5 million overnight stays in hotels in Malaga province and the average price of electricity per kilowatt hour was 0.0923 euros. In April 2022 the figure had risen to 0.2715 euros per kilowatt hour, with peaks of 0.33 euros kw/h, which is an “alarming rise” of 247.63%, the report says, and there is concern about the effect these increasing costs will have on profitability.

May was the turning point

However, so far at least, the tourists are still coming. May was the turning point for the Costa del Sol, with tourism figures getting back to normal for the first time after the pandemic. In fact, Malaga was the only destination in mainland Spain to have more hotel stays than it did in 2019, as did the Canary and Balearic islands, despite the higher prices.