THE summer season is proving less fruitful than hoped for the Costa del Sol hotel industry, research has revealed.

A survey conducted by the Association of Hotel Entrepreneurs has found very low occupancy rates across the coast as businesses have been plagued by cancellations and lingering coronavirus fears.

So far in July, many municipalities have failed to reach 40% occupancy rates in hotels and the current outlook for August is equally bleak.

This month the holiday hotspot is expected to close with an average occupancy rate of 36.33%.

That figure is expected to increase to 42.71% in August.

The numbers correspond to the 155 hotels that are actually open, with a total of 43,215 beds on offer.

The biggest loss has come from the foreign markets, which account for just 16% of occupancy rates in July and 26% in August, reported Diario Sur.

Torremolinos is the hardest hit resort with just a 23% occupancy rate for July and 31% in August, along with Mijas (24% and 26% respectively) and Fuengirola (28% and 29% respectively).

Estepona seems to be weathering the storm the best with a 44% occupancy rate in July and a 64% rate in August.

Benalmadena has a 43% occupancy rate in July and 55% in August, Marbella 40% and 47% respectively and Malaga city 43% in both months.

It comes as Andalucia has seen the highest number of fresh COVID-19 outbreaks since the end of the state of alarm.

Malaga has also seen several new outbreaks, and the largest in the region, with 109 infections linked to the Red Cross outbreak.

However health authorities have assured that they are all isolated and ‘under control’.

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