Terrace of El Pimpi in Malaga city. SUR
Another tourism record smashed: employment in the sector in Malaga grows by 6.4%

Another tourism record smashed: employment in the sector in Malaga grows by 6.4%

Around 49,000 people were directly employed in this sector in the city in the first quarter of the year and summer looks set to be the busiest yet

Pilar Martínez


Friday, 5 July 2024, 14:36

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Tourism continues to drive employment in Malaga city on the Costa del Sol, with a growth of 6.4% in the first quarter of the year to almost 49,000 workers.

The city councillor responsible for tourism and promotion , Jacobo Florido, has highlighted that, in the first three months of this year, a total of 48,734 people have been employed in the provincial capital in jobs related to tourism activity (according to data from Social Security as people signed up for work).

This statistic surpasses the figures for the record first quarter of 2019, which had a total of 40,083 people employed. This figure is only for those in direct employment, so what is the total for indirect employment? Florido explained that, to calculate this parameter, it is necessary to multiply the direct employment figure by a range of between 1.5 to 2.5 points, according to institutions such as the World Tourism Organisation (now UN Tourism), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Eurostat, Exceltur and Spain's national statistics institute (INE).

Florido also highlighted the fact that Malaga city is home to 36.2% of the workers in the tourism sector for the whole province, which amounts to 134,549, and 10.9% of the total in Andalucía, which totals 446,191. "Of the 48,734 people employed, the 29,345 who work in the catering sector and the 11,793 in tourist transport really stand out. The sector that has grown the most is the rental car sector, 12.58% with respect to the first quarter of the previous year".

As to how many business are involved, he said "if we look at companies, and always according to Social Security data, in Malaga city the first quarter of 2024 has registered a total of 3,960 companies attached to this industry, which represents 29.3% of the provincial total and 8.2% of Andalucía,"

Summer forecasts

Florido, who has spoken of good forecasts for the summer season, explained that Malaga city has experienced a growth of over 6% in visitors and overnight stays compared to the first five months of 2023, according to data from January to May (last month published) of the Hotel Occupancy Survey conducted each month by INE. "The businesses in the capital have registered a total of 650,889 hotel guests, up on the 610,190 recorded in the first five months of last year," he said, adding that these tourists have generated 1,368,275 stays, 6.14% up. The average stay, for its part, is practically unchanged, currently standing at 2.11 days on average. By markets, he stressed that "the United States is the main non-European market for Malaga city, sixth in visitor numbers at 27,742, and fifth in overnight stays at 61,184 with an average stay of 2.20 days."

Looking ahead to mid-summer figures, Florido pointed to the forecast of arrivals at Malaga airport and, according to the data provided by ForwardKeys, 4.2 million seats have been booked over the next three months from the 139 cities that are connected by air with the airport to the Costa del Sol. This is 10.5% more than in the same period last year. In August alone the airlines are offering 1.45 million seats, which represents 11.1% more than in the same month of 2023. "With regard to occupancy rates in the capital, and according to data provided by the employers' association of hoteliers (Aehcos) hotel occupancy in the summer is expected to be above 80%, in line with last year," he said.

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