An outstanding year for Marbella tourism

2013’s tourism figures are “outstanding”, being one of the best years in recent memory for the municipal area of Marbella. The province has registered the highest number of visitors and overnight stays from January to September in the last five years, with more than 3.7 million hotel guests and 14.1 million hotel room stays.

Malaga had not registered such positive numbers since 2008, since from that time, visitors had not numbered even 3.6 million at this time during the year, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

The number of travelers has grown by 5.08 percent, 180.207 more visitors, a percentage double the one of Andalucía, and that falls five points above the national average, which dropped by 0.01 percent, according to the Tourism Board of Malaga. Most international visitors have arrived via Malaga airport.

Overnight stays have also increased, growing by 5.81 percent around the Marbella area, meanwhile Andalucia in general has grown 3.43 and the overall percentage for the entire country is 0.97 percent more. Totals indicate 778,456 more overnight stays than during the same timeframe in 2012.

Elías Bendodo, president of the Tourism Board, pointed this numbers out and added that it is expected that “this year will close as one of the best years in recent memory, and of course, the best, considering the present economic conditions”. He recalled that the province of Malaga and Marbella in particular is a “secure destination with a large complementary offering”, something that is important in his view as “part of this year’s progress, alongside the weakness of competing destinations, such as Egypt or Turkey”. The tourist industry in general has seen a transfer of confidence to more secure destinations like Spain.

The market’s behavior in Spain, that continues to shrink in most of the country, experienced growth of 2.59 percent in travelers to the province of Malaga. These visitors generated 188.909 additional overnight stays (+4.07 percent). Most come to Malaga from Andalucía –59.10 percent of the total--, Madrid –13.89 percent, Cataluña –5.12 percent or Valencia’s Autonomous Community –3.19 percent.

Costa del Sol has become the Spanish tourist area with the largest increment in hotel guests in absolute terms in the first part of this year, 136.496 more (4.21 percent), ahead of other destinations that also register positive numbers, like Costa de la Luz, Costa Blanca or Fuerteventura.

Most towns like Marbella and Nerja also show percentile growth during the first nine months of the year in the number of visitors: Fuengirola (+14.53 percent), Nerja (+11.31 percent) or Ronda (+10.13 percent) show two digit growth, while Benalmádena (+8.76 percent), Torremolinos (+8.22 percent) or Estepona (+2.83 percent) also show positive growth. Overnight stay figures are also positive, with growth up to 11 percent.

Hotel stays and occupancy have also registered increases during the first nine months of the year. Tourists have stayed an average of 3.72 days in hotels in the province (+ 0.42 percent), while the occupancy percentage has increased from 55 percent in 2012 to 58 percent during this year. Add to this the fact that pre-booked airport transfers have also had their strongest year to date.