Cooling off period for domestic bookings: no booked-up sign in August

The Business Association of Andalusian Travel Agencies (AEDAV) and the Association of Hoteliers of the Costa del Sol (AEHCOS) have held a press conference to discuss summer 2011 figures and prospects. Likewise, they commented on their expectation for the fall-winter season 2011-2012.
 
AEHCOS President José Carlos Escribano confirmed there had been a 2% rise in July. This positive indicator gives hope for moderate optimism, as it has to do with the British market and its replacement of destinations in Northern Africa (an area of conflict at present) with the Costa del Sol.
 
On the other hand, Mr Escribano pointed out, “Our hotels aren’t booked up in August as a result of a cooling off period in the domestic market, which is our main outbound market this month.” Estimates place y-o-y growth at 1%, which means the Costa del Sol can still take in more tourists.
 
With regard to travelling patterns by Spanish tourists, AEDAV Vice President Luis Pérez Gascón explained that trips to European destinations had become shorter on average (no more than five days). Moreover, high-income travellers prefer exotic or long-haul destinations like Vietnam, Cambodia, or the USA (especially New York, with direct flights served by Delta Air Lines). Finally, country travel in Málaga improved its 2010 occupancy rates.
 
As to the prospects for the winter season 2011-2012, Mr Escribano insisted on making summer profits to face the low season. “Right now, our summer sales aren’t enough to compensate off-season lower income,” he said.
 
Although hotel occupancy is expected to cool off in late August, last-minute bookings are not taken into account. Hoteliers prefer to focus on improving service quality for Spanish and international tourist loyalty.
 
AEHCOS has more than 365 hotel affiliates, providing over 88,000 tourist beds, i.e. 85% of all tourist beds in Málaga Province. In addition, it has more than 90 tourism-related collaborating companies which support affiliates with special terms and thus contribute to strengthening the association’s efforts for ongoing improvement of the Costa del Sol as a travel destination.

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