THE Costa del Sol consolidated its position last month as the preferred holiday destination of national and foreign tourists.
More people stayed overnight on the Costa del Sol than in any other Spanish tourist area, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE) with Torremolinos hotels amongst the most occupied.
The Costa received 251,757 Spanish visitors in July who together with 225,437 foreign tourists notched up overnight stays of 888,557 and 1,181,546 respectively, with visits averaging 4.34 days.
The 113,000 visitors to Torremolinos accounted for 547,000 bed nights.
Malaga province received a total of 514,151 tourists, with 2,129,357 overnight stays, with visits lasting an average of 4.14 days. One third of the 1,606,667 people who went to Andalucia last month chose Malaga, almost duplicating the number of people visiting Cadiz,.
The province’s 581 hotels and 89,631 beds reported 73.58 per cent occupancy last month, although this was nearer to 77 per cent at weekends, according to INE.
Last month also saw the first significant price increases since the beginning of the economic crisis, with a hotel room costing an average of €75.4 – €1.5 euros more than last year.
Luciano Alonso, councillor for Tourism, Commerce and Sport, greeted INE’s Andalucia statistics “with prudence and satisfaction. They reflected the increase of almost 5 per cent in overnight stays r since the beginning of 2011.
But there is no room for complacency, Alonso warned: “We must work to ensure the upswing is not isolated but continues throughout the year,” he said.