The Costa del Sol will for the first time in its history receive over 13 million visitors this year. Closing out its best winter yet, the expected increase of 4.1% to the year before paints a rosy picture for the coming high season, according to recent estimates by the president of the Tourism Board, Francisco Salado.
A record-breaking 7,327,200 travelers are expected to choose the Costa del Sol as their destination this summer between June and September. Up by 3.2% compared to the same period last year, the figure consists of a large number of national tourists, as well as a significant figure from foreign countries, including the United Kingdom which is a welcome surprise considering the continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit. To the contrary, British tourism is expected to rise, making up 30% of hotel occupancy in the region over the coming months.
In reviewing the numbers and trends, Salado is confident that 2019 will not only see record-breaking tourism with approximately 13 million visitors, but also an increase in spend - which totalled 14,800 million euros in 2018. The expected rise in consumer spending is backed by recent marketing efforts on behalf of the tourism board this winter to target visitors with an above average spending capacity and a greater sensibility to the many natural and cultural offerings of the region. According to Salado, the digital marketing campaigns launched aims to increase the total volume of tourism spend, rather than simply the volume of visitors.
The Costa del Sol received 2.8 million passengers via Malaga airport between November 2018 and March 2019, representing a 7.8% rise compared to the same period last year . Travellers arriving by AVE trains have also increased - as well as the number of registered visitors renting accommodation during their stay. A total of 1,947,000 travellers chose to stay in hotels, tourist apartments, camp sites and rural housing between November and March, a 2.6% rise to the same period last year.
Reviewing airport arrivals, Salado highlighted three countries that registered an above average number of arrivals during the regions low season; Finnish tourists increased by 34.8%, Swedish by 17.3% and Germans by 13.4%, all of which are tourists with a higher than average spending capacity and who make up a large portion of investors in Spanish property.