Málaga dethrones Barcelona as the most popular destination

by admin

In a striking turn in the Spanish tourism industry, Málaga has surpassed Barcelona as the city with the highest average hotel occupancy in 2023.

This marks a significant shift in travel preferences and confirms Málaga’s status as Spain’s trendy destination.

Malaga beats Barcelona

Málaga, the booming capital of the Costa del Sol, has established itself as Spain’s leading urban destination. In terms of hotel occupancy, it has an impressive average of 81.2% in the past year. Barcelona, which has long topped the list since before the pandemic in 2019, followed closely with an average occupancy of 79.8%. Close on the heels of Barcelona, Valencia finished third. This city on Spain’s east coast achieved an occupancy rate of 79.5% throughout 2023. The data comes from INE.

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Continued dominance in overnight stays

Although Málaga has taken the lead in hotel occupancy, Barcelona remains the national leader in another area. The Catalan capital registered the most overnight stays, albeit with a small difference compared to Madrid. In 2023, Barcelona recorded a total of 21,707,959 overnight stays. That is an increase of more than 375,000 overnight stays (+1.76%) compared to 2019. Madrid recorded 20,676,110 overnight stays in the same year. An increase of more than 668,000 since the year before the pandemic (+3.33%).

The rise of Málaga as a trendy destination

This shift confirms Málaga’s emergence as a destination for travelers seeking culture, gastronomy, and sunshine. Málaga’s success can be attributed to a combination of factors. This includes extensive cultural attractions such as the Picasso Museum, the Carmen Thyssen Museum, the Alcazaba, Gibralfaro Castle and beautiful city beaches such as that of Malagueta. Add a thriving gastronomic scene with more than 1,000 restaurants and bars. The city is also close to the beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol and well-known seaside resorts such as Nerja, Torremolinos, Marbella and Estepona. Finally, the city has invested heavily in improving tourism facilities and services over the last decade, contributing to its overall attractiveness to visitors.

Also read: Spanish tourism growth will be greatest in Málaga and Madrid in 2024

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