THE president of the Association of Hoteliers of the Costa del Sol (AEHCO), Jose Luque, has said that the return of British tourists is needed to boost hotel occupancy on the Costa del Sol to 65%.

With the current international travel scenario, the average occupancy in the Costa del Sol will be around 50% in July and August.

A situation that Luque does not expect to ‘change’ until the British market opens up (at the moment the Balearic Islands is the only Spanish destination on the UK’s green list).

It is believed that if the British, who account for 30% of the business for the sector, can travel in August, the occupancy rate would rise dramatically.

In fact, of the 250 hotel establishments which are members of AEHCOS, some 50, the majority located in the towns of Torremolinos, Benalmadena and Fuengirola, are dependent on the British market and are currently closed.

“Malaga is practically a province of the United Kingdom,” said Luque—largely due to the high air connectivity between Malaga and the UK.

“Until the British market recovers, we will not return to our desired normality in occupancies,” he added.

On the other hand, the national market has grown by 300% compared to last summer.

According to Sergio Garcia, president of the Association of Andalucian Travel Agencies (AEDAV), ‘the Spanish are travelling as if there were no tomorrow,’ with the north of Spain, specifically Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia, among the favourites for national tourism, and the Balearic and Canary Islands, are the most popular destinations for Andalucians this summer.

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