Marbella high season early as everyone heads for sunshine

Posted By Chris Newsham / June 11, 2015 / In the news, Malaga News, Marbella News, Puerto Banus, Puerto Banus News / 0 Comments

Marbella June no longer has any reason to be seen as the poor relative of the peak months of the summer. The forecast for tourism figures on the Costa del Sol this month show that it is becoming almost as popular for holidays as July and August.
According to the regional government’s Tourism Department, tourists are expected to spend 2,040,000 nights in hotels in Malaga province this month. This is not only the first time the two million barrier has been broken in June but it is also an increase of 4.3 per cent on the same month last year.
Professionals in the sector share this optimism and some hotel managers on the Costa del Sol have confirmed that on several days this month all their rooms are booked. The MS Hoteles chain, which is run by Miguel Sánchez, is expecting a 92 per cent occupancy rate this month in the four hotels it owns in the province.
“June last year was excellent but this year is looking even better. In 2014 we had an occupancy rate of 86 per cent, and this year we are expecting to beat that. Some of our hotels are already fully booked on several days this month,” said Sánchez, who also points out that there are signs of a recovery in the French market, as there have been more bookings from French clients this summer.
The manager of the iconic Meliá Costa del Sol hotel, Carlos Franco, says that for the past two years it has been noticeable that June and September have become more popular and that some visitors who would normally have booked in July or August have chosen these months instead. As well as the prices being about 25 per cent lower, tourists like the fact that the beaches and restaurants are quieter.
“In June most visitors are from abroad. The Spanish come for weekends or at the end of the month, once the school holidays start. The good thing about this year, is not only that we are expecting an 85 per cent occupancy rate, which is an increase of two per cent, but we were also up by two or three per cent in May and even the winter was better. This year is different, not so much because of the good prospects for the summer but because we have had a better low season,” explained Carlos Franco.
The president of the hoteliers association of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos), José Carlos Escribano, has said he is convinced that this June will be even better than last year, which was already a record month. “We are up by between two or three per cent. Sales have been going well and that makes us cautiously optimistic about the peak season too,” he explained.
The sector is also approaching its peak season with greater peace of mind because, like last year, it is experiencing more advance bookings. This has broken the long-standing trend for last-minute reservations and it allows hotels to plan more effectively and avoid having to reduce prices. Professionals agree that they have not had to offer discounts to achieve good occupancy levels in June.
Sergio García, president of the Travel Agents of Andalucía association (Aedav), says there has been a rise of between four and five per cent in sales for this summer as a whole.
“We have had a good start to the year. Easter Week was very good and that is always an indicator of how the summer will go,” he explained. With regard to source markets, he said most of the bookings are from Britons, Germans, northern Europeans and quite a few Russians.
The president of the Costa del Sol Tourist Board, Elías Bendodo, pointed out that last year the figures for June passed the half million barrier in terms of hotel guests, something which had only occurred twice in the past, in 2008 and 2007. He also said, “The figure for June was only 24,034 short of that for July, while in 2010, for example, there was a difference of over 90,000. There was a similar situation with overnight stays: there will be over two million of these this month, which is normally the figure for July, and before 2011 the number never rose above 1.7 million. This year, as in the previous three years, we are expecting June to continue to do well and each its place as a peak month for tourism in the province,” he said.
He also stressed that the high season on the Costa del Sol is lengthening. “The figures for September, (529,687 hotel guests in 2014) have meant that June is becoming part of the summer and May and October (with 450,000 or more) are also approaching the figures we have traditionally expected in the peak season,” he explained.
Owners of the ‘chiringuito’ beach bar-restaurants have been adjusting their staffing levels almost on a weekly basis since Easter to cope with the demand. The president of the association of beach businesses on the Costa del Sol, Manuel Villafaina, is convinced that June will be even better than May, when business increased compared with last year.
“We will probably see about 10 per cent more business in June this year, judging by the hotel bookings and, above all, it is noticeable that people are spending more. Basically, we are not as worried as we have been in previous years,” he says.
Ana María García, president of the hire car association, is confident that there will also be an increase in business in her sector in June. “This month will, without a doubt, be better than June last year,” she said.


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