AS the tourist season begins, the Costa del Sol intends to keep the industry alive despite the economic crisis. In 2011, tourism earned a total of €3.4 billion, boosting the province’s economy during the summer months and relieving unemployment, if only temporarily.
Experts estimate a slight decline in numbers for this summer, which surprisingly grew last year. Nevertheless, this year’s goal is to preserve the profits reached during the peak season in 2011, with more than 4.8 million tourists and 6.160,150 overnight stays in the province. This means that hotel occupation rose 2.59 points, allowing 91,654 workers to be hired. Torremolinos was the preferred destination for visitors, as it provided accommodation for a fourth of the people who stayed in the province last year.
Although the tourism sector remains one of the strongest throughout Spain, most establishments have not been able to recover the profitability of previous seasons. According to Aehcos (Costa del Sol hoteliers’ association), these businesses will have to work within a tight price margin, which will be at the same level as eight years ago. This is mostly due to a relative decrease in foreign visits, although British, Russian and Scandinavian markets are expected to remain stable.