German market grows in Marbella

This upcoming Friday, the FVW Forum will be held at the Palacio de Congresos de Marbella (Málaga). It will bring together representatives from Turespaña, the Regional Ministry for Tourism and Commerce, the Tourist Board of Costa del Sol and Marbella’s Town Council, and the main tour operators as well as a well known group of German travel agents, which will analyze Costa del Sol as a travel destination and the behavior of the German travel market. This meeting was agreed upon during the last ITB in Berlin. It includes sector’s companies from the province of Malaga, so it serves as a meeting point to conduct a full analysis. Their aim is improving the image of Malaga as a destination for the German market, promoting the new products becoming a forum for debate with experts from both countries on the latest trends.

Elías Bendodo, President of Council and of Malaga- Costa del Sol’s Tourism Board stated "the good health enjoyed by German tourism to our destination, being the second international market by volume." He pointed out that data for German passengers who have arrived at Malaga airport between January and August this year "is the best of the last decade, 418 151, 26 percent more than the same period of 2012."

"The German tourism in the province this year seems to be living a second youth," and he stressed "the benefits of specialization in our destination’s tourist offer" thanks to its eight operating segments: Vacation and Leisure, Golf, Elite, Cruises, Convention Bureau, Cultural, VITA (Green, Interior and Active Tourism) Idiomatic (Hello!).

He also pointed out that retail travel agencies that sell to the German market on the Costa del Sol have increased their sales quite significantly in the last year. During summer, reservations have grown an average of 2.7% offline and 41.3% online, while during the winter season, from November 1st to April 30th, they have grown between 22% offline and 101% online.

Turespaña’s managing director, Manuel Butler has presented the Comprehensive National Plan for Tourism 2012-16 to the participating German travel agents and the rest of the panelists. He also made a special reference to the degree of implementation and revitalization of tourist areas with an aim to its overall sustainability.

Germany is the second largest source market for Spain. German tourists’ requirements are a good match for the new products being launched in Costa del Sol, as shown by the knowledge of the German demand by segments and the products they seem to prefer.

Francisco Artacho, managing director of Andalusian Tourism, recalled the importance of Germany as one of the main international markets for the Andalusian Autonomous Community, a fact reflected in the Action Plan for this year. Thus, more than thirty programs are in place to suit the needs of this group. Artacho pointed out that the involvement in this forum is part of this effort, aimed to “reinforce and show Andalucia’s image as a destination for the German market, to offer new products and facilitate contact to both Andalusian and German companies” to launch the commercialization of the Andalusian tourism product.

He said that this forum represents “an ideal framework to improve and showcase the Andalucía’s image to the German market”. He also pointed out that the forum will allow to “increase direct contact with German agencies to reinforce the Andalusian product, as well as allowing these businesses to debate and exchange information about the market’s latest trends”. According to the Board, Germany was Andalucía’s second foreign tourist issuer last year, accounting for over 4% of tourists who arrived in the community and 11% of international tourists. Furthermore, Germany’s market shows better distribution throughout the year, contributing to the out-of-season trend. It also increased its destination loyalty by 4.3 points.

Councilman for Tourism of Marbella’s Town Council, José Luis Hernández, wished to emphasize the importance of this forum to the town, since it is “a promotional program of great impact”. He added that the German market is “the second international market in Marbella, and it represents about 16% of foreign tourism arriving into the town”. Moreover, Klaus Hidebrandt, chief editor of FVW has specified that the meeting will “help us share knowledge and to reinforce the existing ties between tourism experts of both countries”. He said that “Costa del Sol is a classic destination for Germans and this forum will contribute to enhance the destination’s image and to explain the diversity of offers that are in place in the province”.

Marbella Taxis operate a multilingual airport taxi and minibus service to the German market and have many regular German speaking clients.