Hotel Occidental Puerto Banús in Marbella. Josele
This is the 'Plan B' of the big hotels on the Costa del Sol to prevent the drought crisis from affecting tourism

This is the 'Plan B' of the big hotels on the Costa del Sol to prevent the drought crisis from affecting tourism

Professionals in the sector fear that the worry of water shortages could lead to a drop in bookings, especially in the run-up to Easter

María Albarral


Friday, 12 January 2024, 10:23


The lack of water is a problem that is starting to haunt the residents of the western Costa del Sol. If it doesn't rain soon, the water supply cuts will begin in March but, apart from the consequences this may have on a private and domestic level, there is one industry on the coast that is going to be particularly affected: tourism.

Hotels, apartments, bars, cafés, restaurants and a wide range of services will see their incomes falter if the situation does not improve. «The problem is not only the water cuts but also that tourists do not want to come because they prefer another destination that does not have these types of restrictions, especially visitors from the golfing sector, which also suffering from water shortages», Juan Martín Moré, head of sales at 'The Flag Costa del Sol, Marbella - Estepona', told SUR, a concern shared by the rest of the hotel establishments on the western strip of the coast.

Wrong message

However, while the main concern for the sector may be that the lack of supply will affect the guest experience, they are also concerned that the messages reaching potential customers will be wrong. Many of the larger hotels on the coast already have a 'Plan B' to cope with the drought in their accommodation and fear that the worry of water shortages will lead to a drop in bookings. «We have water tanks that will help us to deal with occasional cuts in addition to a battery of measures that we have been developing for some time to save water on a daily basis,» said the general marketing director of Hard Rock Hotel Marbella, Ignacio Gómez-Escolar.

In the same vein, some of the accommodation businesses are also considering alternative measures such as the installation of water recycling systems. «We are considering what options we have and, apart from the reservoir tank, we want to install a grey water system to recover the water from the showers and toilets and collect it in the water deposit,» María Gutiérrez, general manager of the Hotel Occidental Puerto Banús, told SUR.

For their part, the Association of Hotel Businessmen of the Costa del Sol (Ahecos), have stressed «the sensitivity of the issue» and have expressed concern «that booking demand will fall».

Other hotels

The oldest and most modest accommodations on the Costa del Sol are facing more problems in the face of possible water cuts, although they are confident «that the restrictions will not come and, if they do, they will adapt as well as possible to the commercial and hospitality sector schedules so that the impact is minimal», as the manager of a small accommodation in Marbella explained to SUR.

«We are all pulling together. The hotels have united and we have been complying with all the water saving advice for some time now. We have all met and we will continue to be in contact so that the decisions we take are taken jointly and for the good of all», said the manager of a hotel in Mijas, who emphasised that «it is a problem that affects the whole population» and that between us all «we will manage to overcome it», while stressing the importance of «all of us working together to save water».

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