Strong growth in tourism on the Costa del Sol in May

by Lorraine Williamson
Torremolinos occupancy rates

MÁLAGA – Tourism on the Costa del Sol has experienced a significant surge, according to the Association of Hotel Entrepreneurs on the coast (Aehcos), as indicated by positive figures for hotel occupancy in May. 

Based on Aehcos’ data, the province is expected to achieve an impressive 85.2% occupancy rate by the end of this month. This increase can be attributed to the positive impact of the early long weekend (Puente de Mayo), favourable weather conditions, and the recovery of international tourism from various European countries, including the UK. 

With an 8.2% increase compared to the same month last year, the May figures demonstrate a steady recovery and consolidation of the sector. However, José Luque, the chairman of Aehcos, emphasises the need for vigilance and close monitoring of developments during the summer season. 

Potential recession 

Though, concerns about a potential recession are also on the horizon. Luque expressed worries about the predicted economic downturn expected in the fourth quarter of 2023 and early 2024. The possibility of an interest rate hike in June 2023, which remains open according to the US central bank, could have implications for Europe, including the Costa del Sol. 

International and domestic tourists contributed to the positive results in May. From the tourists who visited the province of Málaga, 75% were international travellers, while the remaining 25% were domestic tourists. Moreover, this highlights the significance of the recovery of international tourism for the region. 

Top destinations with high occupancy rates include the Axarquía region, which boasted a hotel occupancy rate of 91.48%. Other destinations that stood out were Torremolinos (89.66%), Málaga City (87.82%), and Mijas (85.96%). 

Cogesa Expats

June forecasts

Aehcos has very positive forecasts for June, expecting an even higher occupancy rate surpassing 85%. This represents an improvement of almost 4% compared to the same month last year. 

Torremolinos is predicted to have the highest occupancy rate in June, reaching 92.67%. Other destinations with promising figures include Mijas (88.70%), Benalmádena (87.90%), Fuengirola (87.29%), Nerja (85.38%), Málaga City (84.85%), and Axarquía (75.10%). 

The tourism sector on the Costa del Sol has shown continued growth, with an overall occupancy rate of 73% for the first five months of 2023. This represents an increase of almost 12 percentage points compared to the previous year (61.3%). The recovery of international travellers and the strong occupancy rates contribute to the region’s success in the sector. 

Aehcos remains optimistic about the prospects for the summer season but underscores the importance of closely monitoring property profitability and average gross revenue per guest. These factors will play a crucial role in shaping the evolution of the sector. 

Read also: Hotel Sector Predicts Better Semana Santa Than Before the Pandemic 


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