Coronavirus (COVID-19) fears on Spain’s Costa del Sol are not just resulting in cancelled corporate and trade events, but it’s also affecting tourism. Recently, Google cancelled an event in Malaga, as was the recent Berlin international travel fair (ITB de Berlin).
Luis Callejón, President of the Hotel Association on the Costa del Sol (Asociación de Empresarios Hoteleros de la Costa del Sol), confirms that Malaga’s hotels have noticed a severe decline in bookings mainly because of COVID-19 concerns. Hoteliers on the Costa estimate the cost of lost bookings already to be in excess of a million euros.
Holidays have been cancelled by customers mainly from Italy, the UK, Germany and France, confirms Callejón. He attributes this to the panic generated by Coronavirus fears, which is putting people off from travelling. The declining number of flights aren’t helping either, he notes.
“Reduced flights from Germany to the Costa del Sol is having a huge impact too. The German market is a priority market for Spain, given its high tourism spend,” points out Callejón, who is currently on a business trip in Germany. “We must pay attention to them, so we can better meet their needs and they, in turn, will prioritise Spain as a holiday destination,” he explains.
Nevertheless, Callejón is hoping that things will turn around for Easter (Semana Santa). “We still have a month to prepare, and I hope things will improve, with bookings and hotels operating at full capacity again,” he adds.