Malaga sees growth in Russian market despite slowdown

16 September 2014

When it comes to tourism during recent months and with the Ukraine crisis as the epicenter, the rate of growth in the Russian market has slowed down. From the undisputed double digit growth that caused feverish expectations in the tourism industry, now tourism has slowed down. The expectations of most destinations in Spain have been lowered, except for Costa del Sol, at least at the moment, albeit with a smaller tourist volume and an increasingly pronounced role of the residential market.

While levels have returned to those achieved in 2012 in areas of the coast most frequently visited by the Russians –like Mallorca, with an annual loss of more than 15 points-, the province of Malaga has managed to preserve the friendly tone of growth during the first six months, also, contradicting the trend in Andalusia, where the arrival rate has dropped 14% below 2013 rates. That said, Malaga is still waiting for the real takeoff of a market that, in spite of current difficulties, experts agree to place among the most interesting of the future tourist map.

According to AENA, Malaga airport welcomed a total of 26,527 tourists from Russia between January and July, 18.3% more than last year. Miguel Sánchez, head of the Confederation of Businessmen of Andalusia, cooled down any type of excitement. He associated the new push with the new air connections, available seats and especially with real estate transactions that are the real reason for the market growth since the Russian economy started to grow again.

In the middle of this general climate of contradiction, Malaga is holding fast. Ricardo Bocanegra, president of the Federation of Alien Residents of Costa del Sol thinks that this movement is due to both the loss of growth margins regarding vacation tourism and the growth of the demand for second or third homes.