Japanese tourism is vital to Costa del Sol

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VALUED: Japanese tourists in Spain.

THE limiting of group tickets to the Alhambra in Granada is affecting tourism on the Costa del Sol. Japanese tourists, in particular, are attracted to the Alhambra and then come to Malaga towns such as Mijas.

Mijas Council has asked for more group tickets to be made available after losing 50 per cent of its Japanese tourists over the last year.

Currently about 100 people in Mijas earn their living from Japanese tourism, serving the approximately 60,000 Japanese people who come to Mijas each year and use the restaurants and other places, and their jobs are in danger.

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The situation was discussed at the Mijas Tourism Table last week, where it was reported that seven people had already lost their jobs due to the drop in Japanese visitors.

Tourism Councillor Santiago Martin said that the Spanish-Japanese tour-operators’ association are “going mad because the Alhambra won’t give them tickets even if they book two months in advance. They always say they’ve sold out, even when there are tickets available.”

The councillor said: “It’s not normal that almost four million tourists get into the Sagrada Familia but at the Alhambra two million get in and another two million are turned away. This doesn’t just affect Mijas, it also affects Frigiliana, Ronda, Malaga, Granada and Sevilla.”

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