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Plenty of tourists around but is anyone spending money?
01 August 2011 @ 00:33

There seems to be lots of tourists around this summer so I thought this would be a big boost to the Spanish economy, but I'm not sure.  I think it's going to be a bad year for the Spanish hospitality industry.

With all of the problems in places such as the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the booming German economy, it was predicted to be a good year for the Spanish tourist industry.  There definitley seems to be more tourists around than usual, with the Germans being a notable presence this year on the Costa del Sol at least.  I've seen coach loads of them piling in to Gibraltar this summer, which I've never seen before.  The figures from Malaga airport show an increase in visitor numbers compared to last year.  So everything looked setup for a bumper summer for the Spanish hospitality industry.

However, the bars and restaurants, at least on the western Costa del Sol have been very, very quiet.  A lot of other people I've spoken to have said the same thing.  The expat/British places seem to be doing ok, but the Spanish bars and restaurants have been absolutely dead.

When we first came to the Manilva area (where I now live) on holiday in July/August 2008 it was impossible to get a table on the main square in Sabinillas.  We would have to wait up to an hour to get a table anywhere on the square.  Fast forward to July 2011 and the square is perhaps a third to a half full.  This includes Friday and Saturday nights in the peak season!!  I remember last summer was pretty bad but this year is even worse.  Most of the bars and restaurants on the square are Spanish, which makes me think that the Spanish are just not spending money and are eating and drinking at home instead.

In fact, there have been items on the news and in the Spanish press about how the Spanish are really cutting back on their holiday spending.  They are going on holiday for shorter periods and are shopping around for the best deals on the internet and are not going out as much on a night time.

To be honest, it's no surprise that people are not going out as much.  The bars and restaurants are far too expensive.  Spain is no longer a cheap place for holidays.  I went to a cafe the other night that was charging 6-8 euros for an ice cream.  What a joke!!



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2 Comments


Sue said:
31 July 2011 @ 23:12

Prices are more realistic on the Costa Blanca. We went with friends to the Moros y Cristianos fiestas in La Vila Joiosa last week, and paid 3€ for a double scoop of ice-cream at a café on the seafront. We then paid 1.50€ for a glass of wine (with a plate of nuts) sitting outside a bar on the route of the procession. Prices where we live inland are obviously even cheaper.


Patricia said:
01 August 2011 @ 14:45

Not just in Spain. "Staycations" are the order of the day in the U.K. and Ireland too. Not surprising given the current severe recession. If people don't have the extra cash then they don't go out as much.
There are less expensive places, (Spanish) lots of them, (not too sure what "realistic" means LOL), in Marbella and environs too. You just have to know where to go. My friends were over a few months ago, a couple, and they were able to have excellent lunch right in central Marbella for 8 euro each.
Patricia




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