Tourists hauling their suitcases along the promenade. Salvador Salas
Costa del Sol is top seaside destination for hotel stays in the whole of Spain

Costa del Sol is top seaside destination for hotel stays in the whole of Spain

Until the end of April, Malaga province's hotels welcomed almost 1.7 million holidaymakers, placing the destination above Tenerife, Mallorca and the Costa Blanca

Pilar Martínez


Monday, 27 May 2024, 12:46

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Tourists are still keen to travel to Malaga province in the month of April despite Easter coming early this year in March. According to the Turismo Costa del Sol's Hotel Business Bulletin, the Costa del Sol as a destination is leading the ranking for hotel stays across all of Spain's main coastal resorts for tourism with 1.7 million visitors, followed by Tenerife, Majorca and the Costa Blanca.

Moreover, in terms of overnight stays, it is the second fastest-growing, coastal destination after Mallorca in the first four months of 2024, with a variation of 13.3% that exceeds five million stays.

April, despite the absence of Easter as per last year, has achieved a tight positive balance in terms of travellers and overnight stays. Still, there has been a notable drop in the presence of Spanish tourists who are the ones where numbers grow most when it is Easter in April. Despite this, the attraction of this coastline to foreign visitors has been fundamental to this continued recovery in visitor numbers.

This boost in demand from overseas has remained constant over the first four months of 2024 and has seen hotels add almost 700,000 more stays than for the same period in 2023. That represents a growth of almost fourteen points and exceeds the ambitious target of 5.7 million overnight stays, according to data from Costa del Sol Tourism. Within that statistic is the 'cooling off' in terms of domestic tourism - confirmed by the accumulated decline of three points - and the contrasting figure of a 20% increase in foreign visitors.

Main markets

Turning to specific markets by country, the UK, Germany and France lead the way, with increases in all three nations, ranging from 18% up for the British to 8.3% for the French. Also worth noting a much stronger numbers of visitors staying in Costa del Sols hotels coming from Poland (up by 64.9%), Ireland (48.5%) and Finland (26.9%). It is equally interesting to see the growth in priority markets such as the USA with a 19.3% increase despite the fact that daily, direct flights to New York were not yet operating until this month.

In these first four months of 2024 hotel profitability has also improved, measured by the revenue per available room indicator (also known as Revpar), which has increased by 6.6%. Furthermore, the increase in hotel room rates continues with an average of 98 euros for a one-night booking, 3.6% more than last year.

Longer stays

The same upward trend can be seen in the average length of stay, increasing to 3.19 days, and in the occupancy rate, up from 52.6 in 2023 to 54.9 this year.

As a result of this higher demand and more overnight stays, the hotel sector needed 2.3% more employees, now standing at 12,951. This is very promising news, showing the green shoots of growth in quieter months, especially as the first four months of every year include the two months when fewest tourists visit the province (January and February). These figures confirm the progress made in the fight against seasonal swings in tourism for the Costa del Sol.

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