Malaga hotels to increase occupancy rates

Occupation rates among Malaga hotels are projected to increase in August by some 5% in the region as a whole and by some 7% in the city centre itself. That’s according to the Hoteliers Association of the Costa del Sol (AEHCOS), based in Torremolinos southern Spain. Although occupation rates during the month of July increased in the whole region of Malaga by around five percent, AEHCOS maintains this will not be the year for a complete recovery in the tourism sector in this part of Spain.

In the first half of 2010 there were negative growth rates in the hotel sector in Malaga. According to the president of AEHCOS, José Carlos Escribano, the domestic market in Spain remains the “lifeline” of the hotels in the Malaga region, but he also stated that during July there was an increase in the number of foreign tourists coming back.

The disruption caused to travel to Spain by the volcanic ash cloud in April was cited as having an important impact among hotels in Malaga with some establishments receiving no reservations at all.  This was a major contributing factor to the negative figures reported for the first half of the year. The World Cup, which was held in a peak tourist period this year, also meant that many tourists from the two main foreign markets of Britain and Germany travelled to South Africa instead of Spain for their holidays.

According to Mr Escribano some changes can be observed in the habits of tourists who come to stay at hotels in Spain: “visitors nowadays spend less money during their holidays, they travel shorter distances and stay at hotels for shorter periods, there are also a lot more last minute reservations. Tourists now appear to want to move around whilst on holiday in Spain instead of staying for a week or more in the same destination and hotel. The traditional stay of seven or 14 days in one place is becoming rarer, with travellers now choosing packages that combine several days on the beach, a few days in the country and some in the city. There is always uncertainty with regard to hotel occupation nowadays because guests wait until the last minute before making their booking. However, on a more positive note, hotel prices, which continued to fall for several months, have now stabilized”.

Another change which has been noted by AEHCOS is an increase in the number of short breaks people are taking throughout the year.  Many hotels in the Malaga area are fully booked from Thursday to Sunday. A lot of visitors travel every two or three weekends to different destinations in Spain and now prefer this to spending a full month in the sun on the beach.

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