Costa del Sol tourism sector calls for urgent improvement of beaches

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As the high season approaches, pristine beaches are paramount for Spain’s southern coast. However, hoteliers along the Costa del Sol are currently expressing their frustrations over several delayed beach projects in the region, which threaten the main attractions of this tourist hotspot.

Owners of hotels and other tourism-related businesses along the Costa del Sol are dismayed by the ongoing delays in projects aimed at stabilising the beaches. These maintenance projects have been lagging up to three years behind schedule. Aehcos, the association representing the sector, has called on Spain’s Ministry of the Environment to expedite the processes.

Critical projects on hold

Aehcos has specifically pointed out several projects that have been stalled since 2021. One of these is the beach area between Playa de la Venus and San Pedro de Alcantara in Marbella. This has been inactive since October 2020. Other affected areas include Playa del Bombo in Mijas, which was severely damaged during a storm on March 9th. Also, Ferrara beach in Torrox, and Baños del Carmen in Malaga, all awaiting urgently needed improvements. These projects are vital for the preservation of beaches, which play a significant role in the local economy and tourism.

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Call for government intervention

José Luque, the president of Aehcos, has voiced his displeasure with the slow progress and bureaucratic delays hindering these essential projects. “It is unacceptable that it takes years to obtain the necessary environmental reports, which significantly delay the projects. Moreover, it appears that the ministry is blocking actions that also seem unlikely to be resolved this year,” said Luque.

Competition does not stand still

The situation is being closely monitored by the tourism sector, especially since other Mediterranean destinations are implementing solutions to protect their beaches. Meanwhile, projects on the Costa del Sol are stagnating. This could negatively impact the region’s attractiveness as a tourist destination, as the beaches influence over 50% of the travel decisions of tourists from markets such as the UK.

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