Bright summer outlook with record-breaking figures

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Steve Slater
ALMERIMAR: Population will multiply by four

THE summer season is at its height and it looks as though initial predictions could prove conservative.
As July ends official figures show that in June the province broke through the 160,000 ceiling for the first time.
National tourism increased by 15.6 per cent and was largely responsible for last month’s record of 161,563 visitors. Foreign tourism was buoyant but stable with a 3.2 per cent increase.
Meanwhile, early estimates predict 95 per cent occupancy for Almerimar and Balerma in July, rising to a100 per cent “no vacancies scenario” in August.
“Almerimar’s population has quadrupled and Balerma now has triple the usual number of residents,” said El Ejido’s councillor for Tourism, Luisa Barranco.
These excellent results were due to the joint efforts of the local government and the town’s tourist sector, Barranco added: “Collaboration between the public and private sectors is essential if we are to make El Ejido a quality tourist destination.”
Cuevas del Almanzora is also looking to the future and plans to allocate land for hotels between the Quitapellejos beach in Palomares and Villaricos.
The town hall believes that the area can easily absorb 5,000 hotel beds: “From Vera to Mojacar the coast is practically built-up but the Cuevas del Almanzora coast is still practically undeveloped,” said mayor Antonio Fernandez.
Future development will be sustainable and low density, the mayor stressed. He also pointed out that the Quitapellejos-Villaricos coastline did not have planning issues, unlike the Villaricos to Pozo del Esparto section which is protected as an Industrial-Archaeological cultural asset.

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