An article in Sur in English (12th-18th April 2013) concerning tourism on the Costa del Sol stated that in Málaga the rate of tourism is 'growing unusually fast for the current [economic] climate'.
Manuel Butler, the head of Turespaña, a body designed to promote Spain as a tourist destination, put this growth down to a number of factors - the pedestrianisation of the city centre, the high speed AVE link, the expansion of the airport, the art galleries and museums and the cruise ship terminal.
All of these factors are ones I pointed out as reasons to visit Málaga in a post last year and I am heartened that tourists do see Málaga as more than an airport. Long may that trend continue.
Turespaña have a four year National and Integral Tourism Plan (Plan Nacional e Integral de Turismo: PNIT) which looks to ensure that Spain retains its place at the top of the tourists' destination list. It is essential that the plan delivers, particularly as Spain continues to suffer in the current economic climate. Tourism accounts for more than 10% of Spain's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), creating 11% of the country's jobs and therefore crucial for the creation of wealth and employment. The effect of tourism also has a positive knock-on effect in other productive sectors. For Spain to lift herself out of the economic mire she needs her position as a top holiday destination to continue.
Some lessons can be learned from Málaga which has finally realised its potential and is blossoming accordingly. Let us hope that Spain, Málaga and Andalucía continue to thrive as tourist destinations.
If you are visiting Málaga you may find my free Mini-guide to Málaga helpful.
I have also put together a two day walking itinerary available from Unanchor.com