Between the months of November and February the city’s hotels recorded a total of 515,525 overnight stays, 21.06% higher than the previous off season
In February alone, the number of Spanish tourists staying in the capital increased by 35%, showing that the domestic market is recovering
Caneda indicates that the cross-departmental policy implemented by the municipal departments is reaping rewards and making the city a non-seasonal destination
The city of Malaga is now one of the Spanish tourist destinations that is least affected by seasonality. This has once again been shown in the tourism trends report for the off season. In fact, according to the figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), in the months of November, December, January and February, a total of 257,277 tourists stayed in the city’s hotels, 14.07% more than in the previous winter.
The growth in the domestic market is very remarkable and has now started to show signs of a strong recovery after being affected by the crisis for many years. More specifically, during the winter, a total of 131,962 Spanish tourists stayed in Malaga hotels, an increase of 14.80%. In turn, the number of international tourists increased by 125,315 in the same period, an increase of 13.31%.
These visitors recorded a total of 515,525 overnight stays in hotels, an increase of 21.06%. Of those, 231,614 were by Spanish tourists, an increase of 18.52%, while 283,911 were international visitors, an increase of 23.22%. The average occupancy level during this period was 53.16%, seven percentage points higher than in the winter of 2012/13. The average stay was also 2.03 days, in comparison with 1.89 for the previous period.
The councillor for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Damián Caneda, wanted to draw particular attention to the figures from February, which were especially good for the city. With good reason; last month 67,935 tourists stayed in Malaga hotels, an increase of 25.60%. These tourists were responsible for 135,608 stays, an increase of 32.17%.
So Malaga was once again the Spanish destination with the highest growth, above Zaragoza (18.06%), Madrid (8.51%), Valencia (8.07%), Granada (7.26%), Cordoba (3.10%), Seville (1.69%), Barcelona (1.65%) and Bilbao (-1.61%). The average stay (2 days) in the city was only bettered by Barcelona (2.4) and occupancy levels were the same as in the Catalonian city and Madrid (60%).
The councillor pointed out that Malaga has managed to ensure that the differences between the best and worst months of the year are no greater than 40 percentage points, while in the majority of destinations this difference is above 60%. According to Caneda, this figure shows that in the city of Malaga, seasonality is significantly less pronounced than in the country’s other destinations.
In this regard, the councillor highlighted how the Department of Tourism has implemented certain measures that have clearly helped to break down this seasonality. Thus, Caneda pointed out that the Malaga Convention Bureau is placing a particular focus on the need to attract trade fairs and conferences during off seasons and he highlighted how well the cross-departmental policy being implemented by the departments of Culture, Tourism and Sport is working.
“These measures have made it possible to change Malaga's image as a tourist destination, with a strong calendar of events that also have the peculiar effect of increasing the diversity of tourism products throughout the year, thus covering the months during which there could be a lower occupancy rate in comparison with the period with the highest levels of occupancy”, indicated the councillor.
Examples of such activities include the City of Malaga Marathon, organised during the Inmaculada Bank Holiday weekend, or the Malaga Spanish Film Festival which is currently being held in the city, but also other events, like the final of the Basketball King’s Cup, which took place in February, or the International Choir Festival, which was held recently.
Thanks to this trend, the cumulative figures for the year are the highest there have ever been for the months of January and February. In fact, so far this year 121,976 tourists have stayed in Malaga hotels, an increase of 14.61%. These visitors have stayed for 247,847 nights, an increase of 22.5%. No other destination in Spain has grown as much as Malaga for any of the indicators under analysis.
The councillor wanted to highlight the scale of the recovery of the domestic market so far this year. In January and February, 61,268 Spanish tourists stayed in the city, an increase of 14.80%. These visitors recorded a total of 109,589 overnight stays, an increase of 25.78%. Within the domestic market, the autonomous communities that have experienced the most growth are the Basque Country (71.9% higher), Madrid (35.3% higher), Catalonia (31.9% higher), Valencia (17.6% higher), Castilla-La Mancha (11% higher), Murcia (5.6% higher) and Andalusia (5.3% higher).
Regarding the cumulative figures for the international markets, a total of 60,708 international tourists stayed, an increase of 14.41%. These visitors recorded 138,258 overnight stays, an increase of 20.02%. The markets that have grown most are Germany (53.7% higher), Portugal (48.3% higher), Austria (47.4% higher), Denmark (31.6% higher), USA (31.2% higher), Canada (28.1% higher), Poland (24.9% higher) and Ireland (23.6% higher).
Caneda pointed out that this start to the year indicates that the forecast for the period up to the beginning of May is good. Additionally, the study performed by the Society for Planning and Development (SOPDE) indicates that arrivals at Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport will increase by 3.1% over this period.
This study also predicts that the number of visitors staying in the city’s hotels will increase by 9.2%, to 292,000. All international markets will continue to grow, with the exception of France, which could shrink by 6%. The German market stands out in particular, with an expected increase of almost 45%. Overnight stays will also increase by 13.7%, showing how strong the city is.