Sun and beach holidays continue to be the most popular option for foreigners

By | October 29, 2012

PILAR MARTÍNEZ

Seven out of every tourists who choose the Costa del Sol do so because they are attracted by its climate and its beaches.

Sunshine and beaches form the heart of the tourism industry on the Costa del Sol, no matter how fashions may change in terms of choosing holiday destinations. Of all the tourists who chose resorts along the Malaga coast to relax for a few days last year, 72 per cent say they were attracted mainly by prospect of the sun and sand. This is ten per cent higher than the average for Andalucía, a region in which 62 per cent of visitors, more than 13 million of them, came for a holiday by the sea in 2010.
The excellent climate and the 139 kilometres of coast in Malaga province are like a magnet which attract 6.3 million of the 8.8 million tourists who visited the province last year, according to figures issued by the Tourism Board. These visitors generated more than 3,300 million euros of income for the province, given that they stayed for an average of ten days and spent 52 euros per person per day.
To illustrate the strength of this sector, it is only necessary to compare it with the second most popular attraction, visits to historic buildings and museums. These visitors spend in the region of 1,500 million euros a year.
Hotel business
The combination of sunshine and beaches brought 2.8 million visitors to hotels on the Costa del Sol last year, resulting in eleven million overnight stays out of the fifteen million in Malaga province as a whole.
The president of the Tourist Board, Elías Bendodo, explains that sun and sand holidays are the basis of the Malaga tourism industry and the central pillar of a brand which has gained an even greater importance in the international context this year. He intends to reinforce this with new products, including urban and cultural attractions in the capital city of the province.
Surveys carried out by the Tourism Board show clearly that the main attraction of this destination for tourists is its climate, followed by its beaches but these reports, based on questionnaires completed by visitors after their stay, reveal that the main activity taken by these tourists is a stroll through the streets of seaside towns or a walk along the seafront promenades.
The second most popular activity is spending time on the beach. The Costa del Sol accounts for 40 per cent of the Andalusian tourist industry and can boast the highest level of beach tourism. Analysis in the Andalusian Tourism Report for 2010 shows that 60 per cent of tourists on Andalucía’s beaches lived in Spain and 40 per cent lived abroad. Among the Spanish travellers, over half came from Andalucía. However, the strong position of the Costa del Sol on the international stage has reversed these figures this summer. Arturo Bernal of the Tourism Board says that this year six out of every ten tourists who soak up the sun on the Malaga coast are foreigners and the remainder are Spanish.
Markets
The Costa del Sol has benefited from the recovery of the economies of the principle markets abroad, such as the UK and Germany, the fact that Scandinavian countries are once again beginning to consider the Malaga coastline as a preferred holiday destination and the interest shown by important new markets such as the U.S.A. and Russia. The drop in the number of Spanish tourists can be attributed to uncertainty generated by the economic situation, including cuts in civil service salaries, the constant increase in mortgages and rising prices, as well as the always-present spectre of unemployment.

source: www.surinenglish.com 9th September 2011

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