The president of the Diputación de Málaga and de Turismo de Costa del Sol, Francisco Salado, highlighted the close relationship and the importance that the British market has for the destination, as well as the challenges that lie ahead to face tourism consolidation. In this sense, Salado has indicated that he trusts the strong ties that unite the British and the destination to recover the arrival of visitors from the United Kingdom to the Costa del Sol because “it is clear that British tourists continue to bet on the Costa del Sol destination. Sol, although the figures for 2019 have not yet been recovered.” He did so at the opening of the conference organized by Diario SUR “United Kingdom and Spain, building strategic relations.
In this sense, the president of Costa del Sol Tourism has announced that various actions are going to be undertaken in the British market, some to attract the energy nomads of the United Kingdom with the aim of “recovering a market that is enormously faithful to our destiny”, said Salado.
The president has also highlighted the possibilities offered by the destination to attract investment and business and has indicated the province of Malaga as one of the strategic ones to strengthen relations between Spain and the United Kingdom. According to Salado, who has defined Malaga as “the most British province in Spain, since almost 20% -18.3%- of foreigners residing on the Costa del Sol are British”. The president of the Diputación de Málaga has highlighted that British citizens “contribute to building a better province. They have made us the dynamic, thriving and open-to-the-world society that we are today.” For this reason and to recognize and reward this contribution to the province, the Malaga Provincial Council has created the Joan Hunt Awards, “in memory of the founder of Cudeca, a Malaga native born in Liverpool who has left her legacy of love and take care of people in the final stretch of their lives”.
From the tourist point of view, Salado has underlined the loyalty of the British, the first who, in his words, “discovered that Malaga is a paradise to discover, the perfect place for holidays, but also to live and invest”. In fact, the British continue to bet on the Costa del Sol destination in a sweet summer that, according to Salado, has resulted in some figures the best in history, although still with negative records regarding the international market when compared to 2019.
In this sense, between January and July of this year, 715,438 Britons have stayed in hotels and tourist apartments, 973% more than the previous year, but -15% compared to 2019. In terms of air connectivity, Salado has highlighted that there are 17 British cities connected to Malaga and eight airlines operating to the Costa del Sol. The forecasts in terms of air seats indicate that, for the next six months, a total of 1,085,687 seats will be offered, which represents a 33% more than those of the same period of 2021.
With these data, Salado has shown his optimism and confidence towards the consolidation of tourism, but has also pointed out the concern that the devaluation of the pound supposes, “because of how it can affect tourism and investments.” Regarding Brexit, Francisco Salado pointed out that “it is necessary to restructure relations between the United Kingdom and Spain, because we are strategic partners, not only from the tourism point of view, but we can also be allies in many other business areas”. In this sense, Salado has highlighted the technology sector, due to the growth margin of Malaga, a city, in the words of Salado, that is a European reference in this field and with a lot of room for growth. As well as the rest of the municipalities of the province, prepared to host projects and that, in addition, “offer a very high quality of life”.
For all these reasons, Francisco Salado has invited us to continue building solid relations between Spain and the United Kingdom, because “Málaga wants and can be a perfect bridge with London, with benefits for both territories”.
In his speech, the president of Costa del Sol Tourism has advanced the entity’s plans to recover the records of international markets. In this sense, Salado has indicated that almost one million euros will be allocated to attract the so-called energy nomads, citizens of countries with harsher winters, such as the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, Brussels, Austria and, also, in the United Kingdom. United.
Also, among the actions planned for the last quarter, Salado has highlighted the presence in the main fairs of the sector; such as the WTM, attendance at professional conferences and specialized door-to-door actions for each of the segments in which the entity works; attendance at forums; marketing actions as well as attention to operator trips, travel agencies and specialized journalists.