The tourist sector in Málaga City continues to reach an all-time high when it comes to figures. In accordance with the situation report of the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE; Spanish National Statistics Institute), the hotels of the capital have offered beds to a total of 407,155 travellers between January and May, 13.37% more than during the same period in 2013. The month of June that comes to its end today has maintained a similar tendency and, therefore, for the first time the hotels of the capital will have had 500,000 tourists staying during the first six months of the year.
This is what the Mayor, Francisco de la Torre, emphasised this morning while reminding us that this development is also reflected in the employment figures. Just during the first four-month period, employment in the hotel sector of the city rose by 4.6%, 3.5 points more than the national average that city destinations are experiencing (1.1%).
In addition, the average income per available room (revenue per available room) during this period is 42 euros, two more than the average of city destinations of Spain, in accordance with the Profitability and Employment Barometer of Spanish Tourist Destinations. The average income per room in the city has grown by 17.7% this last year while the average variation of Spanish city destinations has been 3.6%.
The Mayor who recalled that the tourist sector has had an economic impact on the city that is more than 500 million euros during the past six months has emphasised that no other Spanish city destination has grown as much as Málaga. De la Torre has also provided assurances that this growth will continue during the high season since all official forecasts state that tourism will grow by more than 10%.
The Mayor has pointed out that this important increase has occurred because the national market is clearly recovering and international issuing markets are behaving excellently. In fact, 184,255 Spanish people and 222,900 foreign tourists have stayed in the hotels of Málaga during the January and May period, 14.66% more.
Leadership of city destinations
The growth of the city is much higher than what has been registered by the province as a whole (3.78%), the autonomous community (3.93%) and Spain (4.93%). We also find the following cities lagging behind the capital: Madrid (11.59%), Córdoba (6.91%), Granada (6.85%), Seville (6.62%), Zaragoza (6.05%), Valencia (3.61%), Barcelona (2.45%) and Bilbao (-0.20%).
807,646 overnight stays were registered at the hotels of Málaga between January and May, an increase of 14.84%. 477,972 of these overnight stays involved international tourists, which represents an increase of 12.64%. The remainder, 329,676, were stays by Spanish people, an increase of 18.19%. In this case too, the city grew more than the whole of the province (7.80%), the autonomous community (4.49%) and Spain (4.31%).
Likewise, the overnight stays in Málaga grew more than in any other Spanish city destination. The average stay during the year up to now has grown by 1.30% and is set to 1.98 days, which is similar to that of Madrid and only in Barcelona is this figure higher. The occupation degree has also grown by 11.53% to 61.29%.
National market recovery
The Mayor has emphasised that the recovery of the national market is consolidating itself in 2014. The communities that have grown the most up to now this year are the Basque Country (53% more), Madrid (37.2%), Cataluña (21.3%), Valencia (10.7%) and Ceuta y Melilla (9.5%). However, in absolute terms, the regions that bring the most travellers to Málaga are Andalucía (89,930 tourists, 3.6% more), Madrid (34,341 tourists, 37.2%) and Cataluña (14,002 tourists, 21.3% more).
The international markets that have grown the most are the USA (48.2% more), China (45.8% more), Denmark (33.9%), Italy (27.8%), the Netherlands (27.1%), Finland (26.8%), Japan (19.5%) and Ireland (17.5%). However, in absolute terms, the most important issuing markets for Málaga City continue to be the United Kingdom (30,583 tourists, 10.7% more), Germany (24,635 tourists, 17.1% more), France (21.125 tourists, 6.6% less) and the Netherlands (14,993 tourists, 27.1% more).
De la Torre emphasised the registered data by international markets in view of the fact that it is essential for Málaga City to continue looking after its traditional markets while, at the same time, focusing on emerging countries. “We have an extraordinary opportunity in front of us to make these tourists loyal who are arriving for the first time to our destination looking for cultural, gastronomic and leisure activities that can be viewed as truly unique,” he highlighted.
Municipal tourist offices
The municipal offices for tourist information have had 197,749 visitors during the period ranging between January and May, which represents an increase of 6.11% when compared to the same period last year. We should also add the 67,519 tourists (2.98% more) to this figure who were helped at the tourist information points of the port terminals. They fit their opening hours to suit the arrival of the cruise ships to the city.
In total, therefore, 265,268 tourists and visitors have stopped at the tourist information points of the Tourism Area during the first five months of the year. In May alone, a total of 43,046 tourists were helped at the municipal tourist offices, 21.57% more than during the same month in 2013. If we add the 16,757 travellers who were helped at the Port to this figure, 59,803 people stopped at the information points last month.
The congress segment has also experienced an all-time high. Málaga Convention Bureau, the body of the Tourism Area that promotes this sector, has said that a total of 61 congresses were held in the city between January and May. 40,000 people participated in these congresses, 15% more when compared to the same period in 2013. The figures related to the congresses held in hotels and the venues of other bodies still need to be added to this data.
This important increase is mainly due to the fact that congresses are held in our city that are extremely relevant such as the Samsung Forum in which 8,000 distributors and 2,000 journalists participated and the Herbalife convention that brought nearly 3,000 people to the city.
Cruise ship segment
With regard to the cruise ship segment, a total of 88 ships arrived in Málaga between January and May with 159,897 passengers, a figure that is very similar to the one from the same period in 2013. However, the forecasts for the second six months of the year are expected to be even better and everything seems to point to the year closing with an increase of 1%.