The path of tourist consolidation is in full process, according to the balance of the high season -June, July and August- made by Francisco Salado, president of the Diputación de Málaga and de Turismo de Costa del Sol. Salado has highlighted that during In the summer, the forecasts that were handled in most of the indicators have been improved and that, in some cases, the records prior to the pandemic have even been exceeded.

According to Costa del Sol Tourism estimates, in terms of income “in the summer of 2022, almost 7,400 million euros will be reached, which means 18.5% compared to the summer of 2019 -the best tourist year in history – when 6,243 million euros were reached”. Regarding the number of tourists, Salado has indicated that the Costa del Sol has received between June and August 5,705,000, which represents a 0.8% increase over those who arrived in the same period of 2019 (5,660,000) . Salado has shown his satisfaction with these data, in which the national market has been key and “which demonstrate the great work that the sector is doing”. He has also urged “not to lower our guard” to improve the indicators that are still below and to exercise caution, due to the rise in raw material prices as well as the uncertainty that it may generate.

The 2019 levels have already been reached in the number of travelers and in overnight stays with occupancies in our hotels of 79.76% in June, 81.11% in July and 88.08%. Likewise, a total of 2,608,608 travelers have stayed in regulated establishments in the province of Malaga, (hotels, tourist apartments, camps and rural accommodation) between June and August of this year, which represents a 1.3% increase compared to the same period of the previous year, due to an increase of 17.3% in national travelers, but still ten percentage points in international travelers.

Salado added that overnight stays in these types of accommodation have also risen slightly with 10.76 million nights, +0.3%. Likewise, the hotel occupancy rate has increased by 0.14% in the analyzed period, with an occupancy of 76.3%, while the increase in RevPar stands at +21.7% and 115.07 euros . The average stay is similar to that of the summer of 2019: 3.63 days. The president of the entity has indicated that the Malaga-Costa del Sol airport has received 2,986,882 passengers, which represents -7.4% compared to 2019, but an increase of +86% compared to 2021. Also the AVE is still 3% below the year 2019.

According to Costa del Sol Tourism forecasts, in terms of the forecast of places offered for the months of October, November and December, a total of 2,792,912 places will be offered, which represents 18.7% more than those offered in the same period of the year 2021. Of these, 481,834 will come from the United Kingdom, more than 400,000 will come from Spain and some 150,000 will arrive from Germany. Salado has indicated that there will be 125 connected cities and 48 airlines operating in the destination,

Likewise, according to Aehcos, an occupancy of 81.44% is expected for September; for October, 70.23% and for November, 57.05%.

Objective: to strengthen, consolidate and recover

The objective is clear, according to the president of Costa del Sol Tourism, “that 2023 be the year of consolidation, and thus recover the arrival of visitors from those markets that still continue to register negative data, as well as to strengthen those already consolidated, to which Tourism Costa del Sol will focus its efforts on almost fifty promotional actions”.

Among the actions planned for the last quarter, the presence in the main fairs of the sector stands out; 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.

Salado stressed that “in this last stretch of the year we are going to pay special attention to capturing the so-called energy nomads.” In this sense, there will be a special battery of actions, with an investment of close to a million euros, in Germany and in countries with the harshest winters, such as the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, Brussels, Austria, and the United Kingdom, among others, with actions especially in the digital field, but also with others of a face-to-face nature.

Questioned about the declarations of the mayor of Seville in favor of the application of the tourist tax, the person in charge of the entity, Francisco Salado, has indicated that the Costa del Sol is the economic engine of Andalusia, so it is necessary to take into account what say the Costa del Sol. And that is why I recommend that you dialogue with the tourism sector, which is telling us that this is not good for the destination, because on the Costa del Sol we co-participate in our decisions with businessmen and because that is the key to our success. In fact they have voice and vote in the Board of Directors. The easy thing is not to raise taxes, but to sit down with the Central Government to propose extraordinary financing for tourist municipalities and not to introduce new taxes. It is not good for the tourism sector to apply a tourist tax but rather to improve the financing of these municipalities”, he pointed out.

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