More German tourists are expected to come to Andalucía for holidays this year
The President of the Junta de Andalucía, Susana Díaz, attended the opening day of the ITB this week and appeared delighted at the prospects for German tourism in the region this year.
Last year, the number of visitors from Germany rose by nearly five per cent, but so far there has been a 12 per cent increase on bookings compared with this time last year, and although the prospective figures differ depending on who you talk to, major tour operators such as FTI and TSS Group have increased their capacity for Spanish destinations because of the growth in demand.
Díaz pointed out that last year the German market had not performed very well in Spain as a whole or even in destinations which are the choice of one-third of German visitors to Andalucía, such as the Costa del Sol and Malaga city. She stressed the importance of maintaining the overall visitor numbers, especially as Germans are the third nationality in the world in terms of holiday spending.
“We have come to the ITB with two things in mind: to discover new trends and products which are popular with German tourists and to promote Andalucía as a holiday destination par excellence. We offer a very extensive variety of different facilities and this is what visitors require, so we have the potential for enormous growth,” she explained.
Last year, 1.2 million German tourists came to Andalucía, which was 4.8 per cent more than in 2014. Of these, 800,721 stayed in hotels, which was an increase of 3.1 per cent. There were 3.8 million overnight stays by German visitors, and that was a slight rise of 0.6 per cent but was in contrast to the decrease which was experienced in Spain as a whole. The average length of stay was 11.3 days last year, which was similar to the figure for 2014 but was 2.6 per cent higher than the national average.
Germans also tend to be loyal to Andalucía, and that bodes well for tourism this year. “I am convinced that the figures this year will be higher than last year. Germany is a great ally in terms of tourism and a key market towards our aim of achieving 30 million tourists during this legislature,” said the regional president.
In order to fulfil that objective, Díaz explained that work is needed to improve air connections, the Achilles heel in this market, in which the strong dependence on package holidays makes airlines more conservative. Despite this, she stressed that there is a need for more direct flights between German airports and Malaga, Seville and Almeria.
The tourism authorities also plan to take advantage of a 40 per cent drop in bookings to Turkey to attract more visitors to the region, and they are to invest two million euros on an intensive marketing campaign and about 50 promotional activities, focusing not only on beaches but golf, health and cruises.
“We want the figures, which are already good, to become extraordinary,” she stressed.
SUR deutsche Ausgabe, SUR in English’s sister newspaper, also had a presence at the fair, distributing a tourism magazine that they had compiled for the occasion.source surinenglish