Junta delegate for Tourism, Culture and Sport, in Malaga province, Gemma del Corral, at a presentation for FONCEI 2023.

Language tourists flock back to Malaga after pandemic

With a forecast record year in store, this weekend a major congress for teachers of Spanish as a foreign language will be held in the city

FRANCISCO GUTIÉRREZ MALAGA.

During the pandemic the language tourism sector was badly affected, but in 2022 the recovery has been remarkable, with more than 18,000 language tourists coming to Malaga city. It is predicted that this year will beat the historical records of 2019, when 22,000 students chose Malaga to improve their Spanish.

The good news comes ahead of an International Cervantes School congress, FONCEI, to be held in Malaga city on Friday and Saturday for a hundred teachers of Spanish as a foreign language.

Junta delegate for Tourism, Culture and Sport, in Malaga province, Gemma del Corral, said: "This is a unique opportunity to position Malaga as the epicentre of language tourism and also to showcase our city and our attractions from a different perspective".

FONCEI was born in Malaga in 2011 with the aim of promoting Spanish and its teaching, and what began as a national event has now become an unmissable meeting for professionals in the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language (ELE) from all over the world.

The International Cervantes School has been in Malaga for 36 years and 45,000 students of Spanish from different parts of the world, mainly Italians and Germans, have attended its courses.

There are currently more than 22 million students of Spanish all over the world. Language tourism is becoming an increasingly important sector and Malaga city is at the forefront as a language destination nationwide.