Tourists on the Costa del Sol. Salvador Salas
Costa del Sol and Malaga hotels forecast a bumper summer and an occupancy rate of almost 90% in July

Costa del Sol and Malaga hotels forecast a bumper summer and an occupancy rate of almost 90% in July

A "spectacular" June ended with an occupancy rate some 5.7% higher than last year's record-breaking figure for the sector in the province

Pilar Martínez


Monday, 1 July 2024, 11:45

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Hotels along the Costa del Sol and across Malaga province will be 90% full in July, according to latest predictions from the sector.

The forecasts are an improvement of the same month in 2023, which was a record year for tourism. The hoteliers association of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos) said, according to booking reservations, this month's occupancy rate will be 86%, a point and a half more than the record registered last year.

Aehcos said the rate could go up to 89% due to how early in the month it is. "The summer is looking good. We have ended June with 87.8% occupancy, which is 5.7% more than last year. It has been a spectacular month. And for August we have 86.4% of the rooms booked, compared to the 88% reached in 2023," said Javier Hernández, executive vice-president of Aehcos.

This summer, from June to August, hotels on the coast are already four points above the records of the best summer in history, he added. However, foreign visitors account for the majority of the bookings, with domestic tourist figures not the same since pre-pandemic. This July 65% of visitors will be foreigners and 35% Spanish, when normally in this period they represent around 40%.

Holiday rental sector

The same trend is occurring in the holiday rental sector, which is also predicting a better summer, according to the president of the Andalusian Tourist Housing Association (Avva-Pro), Carlos Pérez-Lanzac. Already focused on July, vice-president Juan Cubo said occupancy is around the levels of last year, but with an average price increase of 12%. "Being the destination with the most quality-certified properties, we understand that it is positioned internationally as a city where visitors are willing to pay more and spend more on their stays. We are reaching a higher level of tourist," he said.

The desire to travel continues to increase, with the president of the Association of Travel Agencies of the Costa del Sol, Sergio García, pointing out sales are between 8-10% up on July last year. Prices have also risen by more or less the same percentages, he added.

Impact on hospitality

The tourism boom will be reflected in the restaurants and beach bars, although people may order more sparingly due to inflation. "If before they used to order so many portions, now they are ordering according to their appetite. The client is looking more at the pocket," said Manuel Villafaina, president of the Association of Beach Businessmen of Andalucía and the Costa del Sol. "July will be better than last year. We are expecting more foreign tourists because the Spanish have seen their options to spend their holidays here limited as foreigners have booked well in advance," he said.

In the same vein, Malaga's hospitality association (Mahos) president Javier Frutos, said the forecasts for July are very encouraging. "In addition to the expected increase in international tourist visits compared to last year, according to airport data and hotel bookings, there is a slightly better local economic situation in terms of spending due to the drop in interest rates and the moderation of inflation," he said. "These factors continue to support a satisfactory trajectory over the last year and a half in terms of employment generation, with the forecast of reaching the historical record in August of around 110,000 jobs maintained."

Turismo Costa del Sol president Francisco Salado said he expects a better summer and to close another year of records. But he said there will be a wider distribution of tourists throughout the year in 2024. He said many foreign tourists are making bookings outside July and August to enjoy the tranquillity of the destination and to avoid scorching temperatures.

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