Costa del Sol wants to have the coastline declared a disaster area

by Lorraine Williamson
Costa del Sol disaster area

MáLAGA – The strong winds and high waves of recent days in southern Spain have caused a lot of damage to the coastline of the province of Málaga. Therefore, the tourist department of the province wants Costa del Sol declared a disaster area. 

The damage as a result of the natural phenomena occurs barely a week before the province expects lots of tourists. Holy Week, Semana Santa, traditionally marks the start of the summer season. Many Spaniards from other areas then head to the southern beaches for an Easter holiday in the sun. 

‘Seriously concerned’ 

Francisco Salado, head of Tourism and Planning for the Costa del Sol, says he is seriously concerned about the current situation, reports SUR newspaper, which has posted a photo gallery here to give an impression of the damage. “The government must stop looking the other way and act immediately. There is a lot at stake for the Costa del Sol this Semana Santa,” Salado said. 

Lack of people and resources for damage repair 

According to the head of Tourism and Planning, there is a lack of people and resources to make the beaches ready and safe for the public in such a short time. In addition, there is a lot of material damage that still needs to be repaired. Think of beach showers, benches, balustrades between beaches and the promenades, access stairs, separation gates, chiringuitos… 

In addition to being head of Tourism, Salado is also President of the Province of Málaga. In that capacity, he spoke with several mayors of the affected places along the coast. He informed them that the province is prepared to conclude a cooperation pact between the various authorities involved to plan, finance, and implement the recovery projects as quickly as possible. 

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Beaches are the most important capital 

The beaches of the province are the main capital to attract tourists. That is why they have to be put back in order as soon as possible. “Many municipalities have already presented projects to stabilize their beaches and protect them against severe weather like those of recent days. They are even willing to contribute to those projects. We as a province also want to help them with that,” Salado emphasized. 

Urgent measures needed 

However, the competence for such activities lies with the Spanish General Directorate of Coasts, which falls under the central government. According to Salado, the government is doing too little, while other tourist areas in Spain are receiving attention with improvements to beaches that should prevent damage in the long term. He insists that the medium- and long-term measures to stabilise the beaches “should be implanted counterclockwise or clockwise”. 

117,000 families and 14,000 businesses dependent on tourism 

The president of tourism in Costa del Sol further pointed out that 117,000 families have to make a living from the tourism activity in the province and that 14,000 companies depend on this sector. He also emphasised that the prospects for the number of flights and hotel occupancy for the coming Easter week are “very good”. 

After the pandemic, sector recovery is finally possible 

After two difficult years due to the pandemic and the restrictive measures, it would be unfair in Salado’s view that the inactivity of the government in Madrid and the Directorate of Coasts jeopardise the recovery of this important sector. 

Also read: The devastated beaches of Andalucia

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