NEWS coverage of the drought situation in Andalucia and possible water restrictions may be putting off foreign tourists from making hotel bookings in the region.

The Costa del Sol attracts a high volume of international visitors each year and the leader of a hotel association has issued a message to potential travellers to assure them that it will be ‘business as normal’.

Jose Luque from the Association of Costa del Sol Hotel Entrepreneurs(Aehcos) said that his sector and the government had a major responsibility in keeping people informed but insisted it was a ‘temporary problem’ and that work is being done to put in measures to ‘solve it’.

AEHCOS PRESIDENT, JOSE LUQUE

“The wolf has already arrived and has caught us off guard, although the administrations have already learned their lesson,” Luque commented.

“Fortunately, we are in the first world and we have the resources to solve the problem.”

Luque stated that if Almeria province can manage to achieve water surpluses, then ‘the same can happen on the Costa del Sol with desalination plant projects, changing collectors or taking actions to reduce water losses’.

“We hope that the Central Administration will be agile in the urgent processing of all projects,” he said, adding that it is not the first drought faced in the area.

At a recent meeting with Spanish tourism bosses, the mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, was told that news coverage of the drought had generated concerns in key tourist markets like Germany.

De la Torre pointed out that at that meeting he explained the measures that are proposed and that this information should be publicised to reassure potential travellers.

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