According to the Association of Hoteliers (AECHO), the Costa del Sol has suffered its worst winter for tourism since 2003. AECHOS president Salvador Vilches said last week that “we have not seen such worrying numbers for years”. There was a 7% drop in hotel occupancy last November and a 6% drop in December. The total drop for all of 2007 was 2.5% lower than in 2006 on the coast, equivalent to 313,000 overnight stays less. Sr Vilches told reporters that January had also proved difficult this year, but that February appeared to be better. He said: “Being pessimistic does us no good”, adding that it was difficult to make any predictions as reservations were “increasingly being made at the last minute”. The Tourism Secretary of the Comisiones Obreras union in Malaga, Gonzalo Fuentes, blamed the tourism companies, because they had not known how to successfully sell winter holidays. He said he hoped Malaga’s AVE high speed train connection would attract more holidaymakers from other parts of the country.


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