Tourism brings 11.5 billion euros to the Costa del Sol in another record year
2015 was the best year ever for tourism on the Costa del Sol, and the destination can take the credit for a large proportion of the 11.5 billion euros the tourist industry contributed to the province.
This week, the president of Costa del Sol Tourism, Elías Bendodo, presented a report which shows that this sector, for which 2014 was also a record year, is in an excellent state of health. However, another very important aspect is that on the Costa del Sol there was positive news from all sides, including some of the most controversial such as employment, business creation and hotel profits.
In terms of income from travellers, companies which offer tourism services played an important part and there were nearly 800 new businesses of this type compared with 2014, bringing the total to around 13,000. In addition, the numbers of tourists and overnight stays continued to rise, by 4.5 and 3.7 per cent respectively.
However, Bendodo was keen to stress strongly that tourism had been a motor for employment and that there had been 6.4 per cent more new jobs than in 2014. “This industry employs on average 143,000 people. If we look back at 2008, before the crisis, employment in tourism has risen by 20 per cent. That is an outstanding figure at a time when the main concern is to reduce unemployment,” he said.
In 2014, the Costa del Sol reached the landmark figure of 10 million visitors in one year. In 2015 this increased to 10.6 million, of whom 4.2 million stayed in hotels. This is 4.3 per cent more than in the previous year. Altogether, tourists made 17 million overnight stays, which was an increase of 3.6 per cent. “The Costa del Sol has positioned itself as the third coastal tourism area of Spain in terms of visitors and the fourth in volume of overnight stays, behind only Barcelona, the island of Mallorca and Tenerife,” explained Bendodo, who also pointed out that there had been an increase in tourists from countries which have traditionally been connected by air with Malaga. This has all meant that the average occupancy rate in hotels has increased and their profitability has also risen by 10.6 per cent.
“Malaga is now the leading province on the Mediterranean coast of Spain in terms of income per hotel room, second only to Barcelona,” said the president of the Tourist Board, who also indicated that forecasts for the first quarter of this year show that the number of visitors and overnight stays is expected to be even higher than last year.
Malaga airport ends the year with a record 14.4 million passengers
This week Malaga airport announced that 2015 had been a record year and for the first time ever it had handled more than 14 million passengers. In fact, the number of travellers using the airport rose by 4.8 per cent compared with 2014, to 14,404,170. Sources at Aena, the aviation authority, say that December 17th was a day to note, because on that day passenger numbers for the year exceeded 13 million.
Larger aircraft which can seat more people have meant that the number of flights did not increase along with the numbers of passengers. In fact, there were 108,897 flights from Malaga last year, which was only 0.6 per cent more than in 2014.sourse - surinenglish
International flights played a key role, but there was also a noticeable recovery in the domestic sector. Of the total number of passengers, 12,325,874 were on international flights, while 2,040,335 came from or went to another city in Spain. “There were 5.1 per cent more passengers on international flights,” says Aena. The British market continued to be vital for the airport, as more visitors came from or flew to the UK than anywhere else, followed by travellers within Spain. Domestic flights played a major contribution to last year’s figures, with 3.4 per cent more passengers despite competition from high speed rail connections.
Another record was also broken at Malaga airport last year: the amount of baggage handled rose to 4,784,736 items. August was the busiest month, with a total of 626,115.
In the month of December, 10.2 per cent more passengers used Malaga airport than in the same month in 2014, to a total of 754,336. Of these, 752,394 were on commercial flights.