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The weather forecast for heavy rain meant that many last-minute bookings failed to materialise (file image). Migue Fernández
Hospitality sector reports 15% drop in trade during Holy Week washout in Malaga
Tourism

Hospitality sector reports 15% drop in trade during Holy Week washout in Malaga

"We may have lost a good Easter week, but we may also have gained a normal summer in terms of water supply, which would be great news," said one industry insider

Juan Soto

Malaga

Monday, 1 April 2024

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While the Easter rains were much-needed for the province's water supplies, it didn't do the bars or restaurants in Malaga any favours.

During Holy Week this year, the sector registered a 15% drop in trade compared to last year, according to the latest figures. Malaga bar and restaurant owners' association Mahos pointed out the forecast of continuous rainfall was mainly to blame. However, it added that an increase in water reserves could actually mean a more successful high season.

Mahos president Javier Frutos said the drop in Malaga was consistent with that across the Andalucía regon, with wet weather forecasts leading to very few last-minute bookings and even cancellations. He said the biggest contributing factor was the inability to eat or drink at outdoor terraces, with many tables and chairs packed up over Easter due to the wet weather. "With good weather, it is probably that these dates, which mark the beginning of the high tourist season, would have been better than those of 2023, which were already exceptional," Frutos added.

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The suspension of a large proportion of Easter processions in Malaga city, either totally or partially, affected some 123 bars and restaurants in Malaga city alone. According to data released by the city council before the start of Easter, these businesses accounted for 36.49% of the premises located in streets or squares along which the processions pass and of these, 10.97% were to be affected by their suspension.

Good prospects

However, Frutos said the drop in turnover over Easter is just a momentary halt in the good progress of the sector, which started 2024 with record bookings and which, despite inflation, promises to be a good year.

The Mahos president also said the increase in water reserves brought about by the rains throughout the week, which lasted until Easter Sunday morning, would have a positive impact.

"We may have lost a good Easter week, but we may also have gained a normal summer in terms of water supply, which would be great news." Looking ahead to the rest of the recently started high season, Frutos said he is confident the sector will do well and the general forecasts for 2024 will be met.

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