At the presentation, our President described the Costa del Sol as a “leading travel destination open all year round, which is something Britons are aware of because the UK is our most important international outbound market.” “In fact, British tourists were the first to enjoy the pleasure of living on the Costa del Sol. Many of them have owned homes in Málaga for several decades as temporary or permanent residences,” he added.
“After a very difficult year for the global travel industry, 2011 shows the first signs of recovery: a larger number of British travellers –a key market– are visiting us, as can be seen in airport and cruise figures. Moreover, the number of hotel guests and overnight stays has also risen, so this is a key moment,” Mr Bendodo remarked.
The property project is aimed at boosting economic recovery and the travel industry (which accounts for 12% to 14% of Málaga’s GDP), creating wealth, and promoting off-peak travel.
Most of the houses for sale are new developments, although there are some second-hand homes too. Many of them are located in coastal areas. As most properties in the hands of banks, the project has the support of banks, saving banks, and property developers.
The new project is targeted at retired Britons with flexible lives, persuading them to move to the Costa del Sol and live where they always wanted to live. However, the properties will be offered in the German, Scandinavian, Italian, and French markets as well.
What is on offer is a ready-made product: “Our travel destination and the properties are already there, and the weather and cultural or entertainment attractions make the homes more attractive to European travellers,” our President explained. “This is a top priority at the Costa del Sol Tourism Forum. We want to carry out this project next year.”
Selling the homes would bring profit and also create jobs. “51.2% of the workers in coastal Andalusia work on the Costa del Sol, and Málaga is the province where the travel industry has the largest share in the labour market. 17% of the Malagueños with a job work in this industry,” Mr Bendodo revealed.
“Despite the difficulties, we are in a key moment to lay the foundations of the travel industry for the near future,” our President said at WTM. “Tourism is a powerful driving force for the local economy, as made clear at the meetings we are having with British Airways, Royal Caribbean, TUI, Thomson, and low-cost airlines EasyJet, Ryanair, Monarch, Jet2, and Bmibaby, among others.”
The Tourist Board attended WTM as a response to entrepreneurial demand. “We have come here to work, promote, innovate, woo travellers and invite them to the Costa del Sol, a year-round travel destination,” Mr Bendodo concluded. “We are in search of new ideas for the Costa del Sol to take off, supported by its strongest industry: tourism.”
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