The Costa del Sol doesn't want to lose the British, its most important clients
The figures leave no room for doubt. The Costa del Sol is a magnet for British visitors, with around one million overnight stays. The British market is also the biggest in terms of property purchase in the province, accounting for almost 20 per cent, according to the ACP Constructors and Developers Association of Malaga.
That being the case, nobody even wants to imagine the traumatic effects that the UK’s exit from the EU might have. José Carlos Escribano, president of the Aehcos hotel association on the Costa del Sol, made it clear at the last World Travel Market: “We have something to suit all tastes and we meet the needs of the British, because they value our climate, our security and our facilities. There is no reason why that should end.”
Neither the hotel industry nor developers believe Brexit will happen, but if it does they are sure agreements will be made to ensure that this supply of tourists is not shut off, either for holidays or residential purposes.
“Russians have never been part of the EU but they have also been one of the principal investors in second homes on the Costa,” say sources at ACP.
Last summer over three million passengers arrived in Malaga from the UK. Hotels on the Costa del Sol ended the year with 12 per cent more British clients than in 2014. Not only that: last year, the British represented 25 per cent of all those who came to Spain for a holiday. There were more than 15 million visitors from the UK and they spent around 14 billion euros, which was more than in previous years.
According to the Costa del Sol tourism authorities, last summer British tourists to this region spent an average of 1,183 euros, which was 11 per cent higher than in 2014. The economic impact is such that the region would find it very difficult to recover from their loss.
British politicians of all parties who want the UK to remain in the EU have had some worrying messages for expats who live here. The Minister for Europe, David Lidington, even said that Brits could lose the right to come and live in Spain, although it would depend on what agreements were made.
Another aspect to be taken into account is cost. The Easyjet airline has already indicated that fares would go up if Britain leaves the EU.source surinenglish