Spain tourism: How Marbella bounced back as holiday hotspot

THE MARBELLA hotel sector has recorded its highest occupancy rates and revenue per available room (RevPAR) since the COVID-19 pandemic decimated the tourism industry.

That’s as the tourist hotspot welcomed 15.24% more visitors in November 2021 than they had seen in 2019, the latest figures from the Spanish Statistical Office (INE) showed.

Hotels in Marbella celebrated a 58.97% occupancy rate last month, ‘beating all the records during this month since 2004’ said the general director of Tourism, Laura de Arce. 

November’s tourist arrivals were ‘growing again and are the highest in the penultimate month of the year since records began’.

She said: “November leaves us with very positive occupancy rates and for the first time this year the foreign client numbers have exceeded even pre-pandemic records” 

Hoteliers in Marbella believe the spike was likely due to a combination of the successful vaccination schemes across Europe and improved economic sentiment.

The majority of clients arrived from Germany, with 1,000 more German visitors visiting the Costa del Sol town in November compared to the 2019 period. 

November’s tourist arrivals from the Netherlands and France were ‘unstoppable’ and also the highest seen since 2004 – despite the number of British holidaymakers remaining a far cry from the pre-pandemic levels. 

De Arce said: “The British are returning little by little and we end the year with far greater optimism than we had last year.” 

She added: “The penultimate month of 2021 leaves us with more than positive data for the hotels in our city and in some cases we’ve seen unprecedented levels of demand. 

“Although we are aware that December, due to the current situation of the pandemic, European tourism will fall again. But we are remaining positive.” 

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