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File image of a group of tourists in the area around Malaga Cathedral. Salvador Salas
Costa del Sol is 'on fire' and expects to break tourist records again with more than 10.4 million stays between now and August
Tourism

Costa del Sol is 'on fire' and expects to break tourist records again with more than 10.4 million stays between now and August

You only have to go to Malaga Airport to see the unstoppable flow of tourists, or take a trip around the hotels, restaurants and beach bars with their full terraces to witness the boom

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Monday, 3 June 2024, 11:16

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Many couples, friends, young people and families kicked off the long-awaited holidays of the year last weekend. June is off to a strong start and is just the prelude to a summer that looks to rival last year's record high season.

Bookings are soaring, with various tourism sectors agreeing that the first months of the year have been more intense than last year. "The Costa del Sol is on fire", is one of the most frequent statements when asked about expectations for the summer.

You only have to go to Malaga Airport to see the unstoppable flow of tourists, or take a trip around the hotels, see the city centre full of visitors pulling their suitcases, or the restaurants and beach bars with full terraces. But not everyone is in search of sun and sand, with visitors in search of nature growing in the province, with campsites and rural tourist sites ready to welcome more visitors than ever.

Los datos turísticos

de récord del

verano de 2023

Provincia de Málaga

Turistas

5.980.026

Ingresos

8.145

millones de euros

Viajeros alojados

2.611.207

En establecimientos hoteleros

2.000.841

En establecimientos extrahoteleros

610.366

Fuente: Turismo Costa del Sol

E. HINOJOSA

Los datos turísticos

de récord del

verano de 2023

Provincia de Málaga

Turistas

5.980.026

Ingresos

8.145

millones de euros

Viajeros alojados

2.611.207

En establecimientos hoteleros

2.000.841

En establecimientos extrahoteleros

610.366

Fuente: Turismo Costa del Sol

E. HINOJOSA

Los datos turísticos de récord

del verano de 2023

Provincia de Málaga

Turistas

5.980.026

Ingresos

8.145

millones de euros

Viajeros alojados

En establecimientos hoteleros

2.611.207

2.000.841

En establecimientos extrahoteleros

610.366

Fuente: Turismo Costa del Sol, Diputación de Málaga

E. HINOJOSA

Los datos turísticos de récord del verano de 2023

Provincia de Málaga

Turistas

Ingresos

5.980.026

8.145

millones de euros

Viajeros alojados

En establecimientos hoteleros

2.611.207

2.000.841

En establecimientos extrahoteleros

610.366

Fuente: Turismo Costa del Sol, Diputación de Málaga

E. HINOJOSA

The challenge facing the tourism sector on the Costa del Sol and across the wider Malaga province is to surpass the 2.6 million tourists who stayed in June, July and August during last year's record summer. Tourists booked 10.4 million stays in all accommodation types last high season, according to Spain's National Statistics Institute (INE). The accommodation sector expects to exceed the average occupancy rate of 74% recorded in the period from June to September 2023 and is also contemplating a new price increase, albeit a more moderate one. According to sources, it will be between 5 - 8%. It is worth remembering that last summer the average daily fare stood at 162.3 euros, 30.6% higher than in 2019.

International tourism

The great hopes are pinned on international tourism, which is growing at a double-digit rate and is expected to stay that way. Last high season, arrivals at Malaga Airport were close to 3.5 million, of which 2.9 million were from outside the country. Most of the visitors were from the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany.

"The chiringuitos on the coast employ 20,000 staff during the high season"

Against this backdrop, the main problem facing the sector is finding workers to be able to respond to travellers' expectations. An obstacle that last summer they overcame with a job fair in view of the fact that never before had so many jobs been created in the different tourism sub-sectors. On this occasion, the Association of Hotel Businessmen of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos) has reinforced its employment exchange for the high season, in which it estimates that between 3,000 and 5,000 jobs will be offered in the 340 associated accommodations. The employers' association points out that restaurant, kitchen, cleaning and reception are the most in-demand positions.

Los datos turísticos de récord

del verano de 2023

Provincia de Málaga

Pernoctaciones de viajeros

10,4

millones de noches

En establecimientos hoteleros

7.556.522

En establecimientos extrahoteleros

2.883.621

Estancia media

(días)

Españoles

2,9

Extranjeros

4,5

Grado de ocupación en establecimientos hoteleros

Junio

Julio

67,6%

74,9%

Agosto

Verano

79,4%

73,9%

Personas empleadas en el sector turístico

Restauración75.169

Transporte turístico18.434

Alojamiento26.767

Actividades de ocio14.943

AAVV y TTOO2.872

Rent a car2.010

Llegadas al aeropuerto

3,5

millones de pasajeros

Nacionales

590.321

Extranjeros

2.903.379

Fuente: Turismo Costa del Sol

E. HINOJOSA

Los datos turísticos de récord

del verano de 2023

Provincia de Málaga

Pernoctaciones de viajeros

10,4

millones de noches

En establecimientos hoteleros

7.556.522

En establecimientos extrahoteleros

2.883.621

Estancia media

(días)

Españoles

2,9

Extranjeros

4,5

Grado de ocupación en establecimientos hoteleros

Junio

Julio

67,6%

74,9%

Agosto

Verano

79,4%

73,9%

Personas empleadas en el sector turístico

Restauración75.169

Transporte turístico18.434

Alojamiento26.767

Actividades de ocio14.943

AAVV y TTOO2.872

Rent a car2.010

Llegadas al aeropuerto

3,5

millones de pasajeros

Nacionales

590.321

Extranjeros

2.903.379

Fuente: Turismo Costa del Sol

E. HINOJOSA

Los datos turísticos de récord del verano de 2023

Provincia de Málaga

Estancia media (días)

Pernoctaciones de viajeros

10,4

Españoles

millones de noches

2,9

En establecimientos hoteleros

7.556.522

Extranjeros

4,5

En establecimientos extrahoteleros

2.883.621

Junio

Julio

Grado de ocupación en establecimientos hoteleros

Agosto

67,6%

74,9%

79,4%

Verano

73,9%

Personas empleadas en el sector turístico

Restauración75.169

Transporte turístico18.434

Alojamiento26.767

Actividades de ocio14.943

AAVV y TTOO2.872

Rent a car2.010

E. HINOJOSA

3,5

Llegadas al aeropuerto

Nacionales

590.321

millones de pasajeros

Extranjeros

2.903.379

Fuente: Turismo Costa del Sol

E. HINOJOSA

Los datos turísticos de récord del verano de 2023

Provincia de Málaga

Estancia media (días)

Llegadas al aeropuerto

Pernoctaciones de viajeros

10,4

3,5

Españoles

millones de noches

millones de pasajeros

2,9

En establecimientos hoteleros

Nacionales

7.556.522

Extranjeros

590.321

4,5

En establecimientos extrahoteleros

Extranjeros

2.883.621

2.903.379

Grado de ocupación

en establecimientos

hoteleros

Personas empleadas en el sector turístico

Restauración75.169

Transporte turístico18.434

Alojamiento26.767

Actividades de ocio14.943

AAVV y TTOO2.872

Rent a car2.010

Junio

Julio

Agosto

Verano

67,6%

74,9%

79,4%

73,9%

Fuente: Turismo Costa del Sol, Diputación de Málaga

E. HINOJOSA

Chiringuitos have put the focus on students to cover the increase in staff required for the summer, which they estimate at 30% more workers needed, according to the president of the Association of Beach Businessmen of the Costa del Sol and Andalucía, Manuel Villafaina. These businesses employ 20,000 professionals in these peak months, he pointed out. "We hope for a summer as good as the last one, which was historic. But it is difficult because the capacity of our establishments is limited and the 2023 season was unique," Villafaina said.

"The forecasts for the summer are optimistic. June starts with an occupancy rate of 87%"

These good forecasts are echoed by the association of hoteliers of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos), which expects hotel occupancy this June to reach 87.1%, which will be five percentage points higher than the figure reached last year. For July, they are confident, in a first estimate, of filling 85% of their businesses, a figure that would also be above 2023, which recorded an occupancy rate of 84.6%. "The forecasts for the summer season are optimistic, but the profitability of the establishments and the average gross income per guest staying must be carefully observed and monitored, which will determine the economic impact and the benefits for employment," Aehcos president José Luque said.

More expenditure

On the road to making history again, the Andalusian Tourist Housing Association (AVVAPro) pointed out that forecasts in Malaga city for the summer are good, although the average advance sale is still around 90 days. However, they pointed out the bookings made so far for the first part of the summer are two points higher than last year's occupancy. But, in addition, they pointed out an increase in the average stay, which will be close to five nights. "In this way, the tourist homes and flats become the type of accommodation with the longest stay in Malaga city," they said. This sector pointed out a rise in average spending, which in the first four months of the year was already 12% higher and for the summer is estimated at 16% more in average spending per tourist.

Inland in Malaga province, Ruraldays, the platform for rural tourism in Andalucía, said that if the first half of the year has had a good performance, it is expected that the summer will also bring good figures. "The forecast for the coming months is promising, there is still a variety of choices compared to other years and searches continue to increase," said Felix Zea, co-founder of Ruraldays along with Daniel Velasco. He also said: "occupancy for this summer is still a few points below last year at the same time, due to the fact that new accommodations have entered the market and tourists are returning to their old habits of booking their holidays at very short notice, so many last minute bookings are expected. However, the pace of sales is very good and we are confident that many Andalusian destinations will be fully booked for the months of July and August".

"Andalucía, the Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and European capitals are the most popular destinations"

Travel agencies also warn of people's desire in Malaga to travel. "Bookings are going well, but August will be decided at the last minute. June is very similar to last year, although sales have risen by 5% so far this year," said Sergio Garcia, president of the Association of Travel Agencies of Malaga (AEDAV), who pointed out that the people of Malaga are still committed to moving around Andalucía, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and European capital cities.

Rental car companies are also warning of the pull of the Costa del Sol. Ana María García, president of the Andalusian Rental Car Business Association (AESVA), which has 200 companies and brings together more than 30,000 vehicles, said: "the data on the number of registrations shows that the rental companies are stocking up on cars. Therefore, the forecast for the summer season is that we will achieve positive data that will reaffirm the trend and the growth we experienced last year. The summer season represents 51.6% of the sector's business".

The Costa del Sol's leisure parks sector also predicted 2024 will close with higher figures than last year, according to José Yagüe, president of the Provincial Association of Businesses and Leisure Centres of the Costa del Sol (Apeco).

And with the Costa del Sol being the tourist engine of Andalucía, it is easy to understand the forecasts of the Junta's minister of tourism, Arturo Bernal, that the region will hit 21.5 million stays, which is 1.5 million more than the previous season. Now, the challenge for the Costa is to exceed the 8.1 billion euros in revenue of the record summer of 2023.

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