IT was a statistic that you had to initially rub your eyes to believe.
But, according to official figures, Estepona has overtaken Marbella as mainland Spain’s most profitable hotel destination.
Now standing at an average price per room of €152, compared to €140 in Marbella, its RevPAR is only beaten by two destinations in Ibiza, San Josep and Eivissa.
A measure of profitability per room, the official report by Exceltur, furthermore showed that Estepona’s RevPAR income grew by 7.2% in 2022.
This is impressive growth and further proof that Estepona is starting to become the true gem on the Costa del Sol.
This isn’t the first time statistics have shown that Estepona is really knocking it out of the park in terms of quality tourism at local, high-end hotels.
I wrote about this phenomenon last October on my blog.
At Terra Meridiana, we were excited and honoured to be involved in the development from the ground up of two boutique hotels near the waterfront, plus a third project where we were less involved, but nonetheless proud of our small contribution.
The consistent success of the tourist industry in Estepona reflects the momentum of investment that has been attracted into the local economy.
This has happened not only because of the beautiful old town and its spectacular beaches; it has also been a result of the last decade’s worth of ambitious, forward-thinking transformation of the resort.
Estepona has, quite simply, transformed from a sleepy fishing village into a bustling hub for tourists and property investors alike.
It has undergone a massive population growth spurt from 48,000 in 2003 to 74,000 today, a population increase of 56%.
By comparison, the higher profile resort of Marbella, right next door, has grown by just 29% in the same period.
Between 2021 and 2022 alone, Estepona’s population grew by 3.6%, which was almost three times the growth rate for Malaga province as a whole (1.3%), Spain’s fastest growing province.
It seems like Estepona is just gathering steam with each passing year and you can see this with the recent additions of the carbon-neutral town hall, plus the spectacular Mirador del Carmen with its art gallery linked to the Thyssen Museum in Malaga and Madrid.
Punching Above Its Weight
Estepona is also punching above its weight when it comes to home sales.
While all the major towns on the Costa del Sol recovered strongly after the Covid pandemic, Marbella’s sales numbers are just 47% greater than Estepona, though its population is 100% larger.
But, despite the attractiveness of Estepona it’s still a bargain compared to Marbella and some other hotspots on the Costa del Sol.
While property values have seen strong growth in Estepona and weathered the pandemic well, they have not grown as fast as Marbella and are about the average for the province as a whole.
In fact, Marbella’s price per square metre averages €4,300, Estepona’s average price is just over €3,000/m2.
What’s The Secret To Success?
Situated in the sun-drenched Costa del Sol, Estepona’s renaissance is the result of its idyllic location, for certain.
But its natural advantages have also been coupled with proactive, pro-business local government policies.
Compared to 20 years ago, Estepona has seen a revitalization of its charming old town, and the development of new infrastructure.
This has included a wonderful pedestrian promenade along the beachfront and an expansion of attractive pedestrian-dedicated zones that have opened up the city to the sea. An excellent example of the forward thinking of local leaders in the community, both government, cultural and business is the previously mentioned Mirador, which just opened in April.
This is a stunning cultural and tourist spot with – apart from the art gallery – a library, music conservatory, auditorium, exhibition hall and a restaurant with incredible sea views.
This beautiful facility overlooking the Mediterranean is a true testament to Estepona’s ongoing transformation into a modern, vibrant city. As these kinds of developments continue to improve and beautify Estepona, it is almost certain that the city will go from strength to strength.
If you’re thinking of moving to a place that has sun, sand, high quality lifestyle, strong economic fundamentals, excellent services and cultural facilities, packaged in eco-friendly development policies – Estepona is a great choice.
Pick of the bunch…
Three fabulous properties we have for sale in Estepona right now…
ESTEPONA OLD TOWN
3 BEDROOMS 2 BATHROOMS 139 M2 BUILT 55 M2 PLOT
4 BEDROOMS 4 BATHROOMS 242 M2 BUILT 422 M2 PLOT 60 M2 TERRACE
6 BEDROOMS 5 BATHROOMS 479 M2 BUILT 2.893 M2 PLOT 200 M2 TERRACE