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Record breaking tourism

Andalusia in southern Spain, and especially Costa del Sol, is approaching the best tourist month ever with record figures for hotel occupancy in almost the entire region.


The beach in Cabopino (Marbella). Photo: Konstantin.

August is the big holiday month throughout Southern Europe. Spaniards, Italians, French and Germans all have their main vacation during this month. This combined with the fact that the tourism to many other tourist destinations has fallen sharply (Turkey and Northern Africa) ensures that the pressure on Spain is higher than ever.

The Ministry of Tourism says that the hotel occupancy of Andalusia has gone up in all provinces except in the Granada province, where a slight decrease (-2.2%) has been registered. Throughout Andalusia the hotel occupancy is currently at 76% which is an increase of 4.5% compared with last year (which was also good).

Málaga has the largest growth and despite an increased selection of hotel beds, the occupancy in the Málaga province is at 84%. In Málaga city 2,819 million overnight stays are expected, which is an increase of +6.8%.

Looking at the entire Costa del Sol the booking situation today is somewhat strained with 90% of all beds already booked. It is expected that the overall occupancy will reach or even exceed 95%.

La Playa de Santa María del Mar, Cádiz. Photo: Daphne Chui.

La Playa de Santa María del Mar, Cádiz. Photo: Daphne Chui.

In the Cadiz province 89% of the hotel beds are already occupied, that means 1.2 million guest nights (+ 4%). Almeria has the same positive numbers with 84% booked beds, which corresponds to 1,228,000 guest nights (+ 17.4%).

Looking at figures for Andalusia in the period from January to September, the prognosis is 36,873,000 overnight stays. This is an increase compared to last year with 3,278,000 overnight stays (+ 9.8%), giving an average occupancy rate of 57% (+ 4.5%). These figures shows only the hotel occupancy. Private lettings and camping comes in addition – but there is no statistics available for these overnight stays.

Andalucia’s Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Fernandez recently said that the prognosis for his department indicates that the destination during the summer season (June to September) is 25 million overnight stays, an increase of 7 percent from last year, which is a historical record.

Fernández confirmed that the Andalusian tourist industry is making “significant efforts” to improve and consolidate the positive results by increasing the quality and visitor loyalty. Which will be reflected in an increasing number of visitors throughout the year.

From Málaga's Airport Terminal 3 - Burger King, photography, Elliot Brown.

From Málaga’s Airport Terminal 3 – Burger King, photography, Elliot Brown.

During the weekend 1,800 aircrafts loaded with passengers arrived at Malaga airport, where both runways now are being used.