TheSanta emanates is considered the start of the tourist seasonthat after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Costa del Sol destination begins with the forecast of exceed 70% occupancy with last minute bookings, mainly from the domestic market. The executive vice-president of the Association of hoteliers of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos), Javier Hernández, attends Málaga Hoy to explain the perspectives of the sector.
-How is Easter presented?
-Easter Week comes before all the obstacles that we are having from the hotel sector such as the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, the haze, the storms or the rise in energy costswith hope and unlike the year 2019 we estimate that we will be between 12 and 15% below of Passion Week that year.
-What degree of occupation is expected on the Costa del Sol?
-Our forecasts of occupancy is 70% with differences in the different areas, since in the interior such as Ronda and Antequera there are very good figures that exceed 90%, as in the municipality of Benahavís.
-Which are the municipalities of the region that present a greater degree of occupation?
-highlights Marbella with more than 75% occupancy and Benalmádena and Nerja as the main municipalities with the best occupancy for the 10 days that Easter Week lasts, that is, from April 8 to 18, although it is also true that in Malaga capital also exceeds 70%. The municipalities with the lowest occupancy, although it will be moderately acceptable, are fundamentally Torremolinos and Fuengirola, which are those destinations most dependent on tour operations.
And what forecasts are there for the bridge?
If the average of those 10 days will be that 70% more or less busy, the key days from Holy Wednesday to Easter Monday, we wait for between a 74 and 75% on average.
Are last minute reservations expected?
-Many tourists are waiting to know what the weather is like during this Holy Week, and very likely we will have a spike in last minute bookings that makes the occupation grow some other point and we could say that we will be able to close Easter with around 75 and 77% on average in the province.
-What type of tourist has chosen the Costa del Sol destination for this Easter?
-The 50% of tourists are of national origin and 50% international, unlike what has happened at the end of March, where the 65% was international and 35% national.
-Which are the main issuing countries?
-The first is the domestic market with 52% occupancy and the rest are nearby European or traditional markets, which are the ones that come at Easter. It must be taken into account that with the situation of armed conflict the distant medium and long distance markets such as the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey, obviously Russia and further afield such as Japan, Korea and China are practically not in demand. The same happens with distant markets in the western part such as the American, Canadian and Central and South American markets, where there is still practically no demand.
– And the national market?
-We hope that this rebound will come fundamentally caused in part by British tourismsomething for the German and especially given the possible recovery of trips contracted through tour operators, but our hope for this Easter, just like last year with the high season in summer, it will be the last minute national market.
-How is the state of the beaches influencing the reserves?
-Us we haven’t had a booking break for these three or four Levante storms that we have had, but we do hope that the municipalities put all the means to be able to have the beaches available and we will obviously provide the means to have the maximum number of services available in the beach areas so that the tourist who visits us is happy.
-What are the main concerns in this regard?
– It should be noted that the contribution of sand from the beaches is a waste And it’s a wasted expense. We appeal to the responsibility of the central government and of the Coasts so that they provide the means to avoid this sadness that we are suffering every year due to storms. I believe that here it obeys a Comprehensive beach regeneration plan to avoid having every year to intervene in a corrective and not preventive way in the every time there is a storm.
– Is it the Holy Week of recovery?
Still we can’t talk about recovery, we can talk about the beginning of the recovery, but we are quite far away and the figure of being 17% below the first three months of the year compared to 2019 is relevant. We hope to recover quickly, but still this 2022 will not be the year of recovery nor the holiday sections such as Easter.