Thursday, 7 December 2023, 10:42
More hotels will be open this winter on the Costa del Sol than ever before as demand for travel is still expected to be strong, even in the low season.
The Aehcos hoteliers association of the Costa del Sol has pointed out that just 25 hotels in Malaga province will close their doors this winter, almost half the number of last year. And those accommodation providers that have opted to close this low season shut their doors much later than usual due to high demand.
Of the hotels that have closed, a third shut their doors due to improvement works or major reforms such as the five-star Don Carlos hotel in Marbella, which will reopen in 2025 and unveil a completely new renovation.
Aehcos vice-president Javier Hernández said this year's high season had been prolonged due to warmer temperatures than usual in autumn. Most of the hotels that closed in November recorded strong results that month as a result, he added. Data from Spain's INE national institute of statistics showed that Malaga province recorded 2,184,382 overnight stays during October and November this year, an increase of more than 221,000 compared to the same period in 2019.
10,800 fewer beds
The closure of 25 hotels this low season takes 10,800 beds off the market, some 11.4% of the total 94,600 hotel beds registered with the hotel employers' association. Most hotels that have stopped receiving tourists will remain closed until the end of February, and the rest will open at the start of March. Historically, hotels on the Costa del Sol would close from October through to almost Easter.
Torremolinos and Marbella
Many of the closed hotels are in the municipalities of Torremolinos, one of the Malaga province destinations that has enjoyed the highest demand this year, and in Marbella, Benalmadena and Estepona. Meanwhile, few have shut in Malaga city as the capital of the Costa del Sol looks to benefit off visitors travelling for Christmas functions and festivities.
Effect of climate change
Experts have said that the impact of climate change is starting to leave its mark on Malaga province and is contributing to an extended peak tourism season, which in the past was limited to the months from June to September.
Warmer temperatures in autumn compared to extremely high temperatures in summer was a big factor in British tourists planning their visits to the Costa del Sol this year. According to the UK's travel trade association, ABTA, heatwaves and rising temperatures in southern Spain prompted British tourists to travel later in the season. This trend will continue next year as many indicated a preference to travel in September or October compared to July or August.
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