Malaga, the urban destination of Spain that grows the most in hotel overnight stays in 2018

Malaga has finished the year 2018 as the urban destination of Spain that grew the most in hotel overnight stays, specifically 6.45 percent, according to the data of the tourism situation report of the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

The data of the report show that the city received 1,368,924 hotel tourists in 2018, which is also a growth of 5.44 percent in the volume of arrivals compared to 2017, a year in which all the previous marks, as has been pointed out by the Councilor for Tourism and Promotion, María del Mar Martín Rojo, who has pointed out that it is the second destination with the largest increase in hotel visitors.

This progression in terms of the magnitude of visitors triples the national average (which was 1.7 percent), is more than double that of Andalusia (2.32%), more than four times higher than that of the province (1 , 23%) and places Malaga as the second urban destination in growth ahead of Barcelona, ​​Granada and Madrid and only behind Palma de Mallorca, has pointed at a press conference.

The 2,635,200 registered overnight stays in the hotels of the city make it the Spanish destination with the highest growth in this aspect during 2018: a 6.45 percent, which, in absolute terms, represents 159,705 additional stays compared to 2017.

More than two out of three (64.83%) were made by visitors from the international market. However, it is remarkable the evolution of the national in this area, which increased by 7.19 percent, an increase significantly higher than the number of tourists, which was 4.17 percent.

«These numbers have exceeded all our expectations, without a doubt, extraordinary figures that highlight the consolidated and differentiated position of Malaga as an eminently cultural urban destination,» he said, adding however that the City Council is committed to a tourism model » based on quality, not on quantity, with tourists with a higher level of spending, who come throughout the year and who make extended stays.

Thus, he added that «all this contributes to improving the economic impact of tourism on the city.» In fact, according to the Tourist Observatory, the tourist’s travel budget – which includes travel, accommodation and daily spending – is 706.68 euros and the economic impact rose between November 2017 and October 2018 to 3,289 .278,533 euros (+ 15.72%).

In this strategic line is the data registered by the INE of a growth of overnight stays (6.45%) higher than that of visitors (5.44%). This implies an increase in the average stay, which was 1.93 days, slightly higher than in 2017 (1.91 days).

Likewise, the city repeated as the second urban destination with the highest degree of occupation – an average of 77.7% during 2018 -, ahead of Madrid (76.48%), Seville (76.27%) and Bilbao (75 , 04%) and only surpassed by Barcelona (78.63%).

During the past year there was an increase in tourist activity in traditionally more relaxed months with considerable increases in January, February, May, November and December: «This success has been the result of the work carried out to make Malaga a living destination , able to attract visitors 365 days a year. »

In that sense, the mayor has indicated that the behavior of December was an example of how the city has managed to position itself as a preferred international destination thanks to the Christmas atmosphere, the lights and the museum and gastronomic offer.

This generated in the last month of the year an increase of 11.51 percent in the volume of hotel tourists and 14.78 percent in the number of overnight stays with respect to the same period of 2017. In this last area it was «outstanding» the increase of 23.08 percent of international tourist stays.


Regarding the places of origin of the visitors, Andalusia remained as the main market of the city with 14.74 percent of the total of tourists, followed by the United Kingdom with 9.15 percent and Madrid with the 6 , 78 percent. The following markets in this ranquin are Germany (5.22%), France (4.81%), Italy (4.07%), The Netherlands (3.63%) and the United States (3.49%).

The main national markets were Andalusia with 14.74 percent of the total number of tourists (201,730 in absolute terms); Madrid with 6.78 percent (92,859 hotel tourists); Catalonia, 2.87 percent (39,331 tourists); the Comunidad Valenciana, 1.76 percent (24,091 tourists); and Canarias, 1.09 percent (14,874 tourists).

For its part, the Spanish markets with the highest growth were the Canary Islands, 53.17 percent more than in 2017; the Balearic Islands (31.44%); Galicia (26.28%); Valencian Community (11.89%); and the Basque Country (7.24%).

Regarding international visitors, the most robust market during 2018 was the one coming from the United Kingdom with 9.15 percent of the total hotel travelers (125,286 in absolute terms); Germany with 5.22 percent (71,502 tourists); France, 4.81 percent (65,804 tourists); Italy, 4.07 percent (55,732 tourists); and the Netherlands with 3.63 percent (49,650 hotel tourists).

The foreign markets that registered a greater increase were Portugal, with a growth of 39.8 percent in the number of hotel tourists with respect to 2017; China, 21.73 percent; Japan, 19.05 percent; France, 18.20 percent; and Belgium, with 15.16 percent.


Martín Rojo has assured that Málaga «still has a lot to offer and that there is room to grow in 2019». However, it has qualified: «This growth will occur in an orderly manner and with the sustainability and quality of life of the residents as priorities».

Likewise, he pointed out that the Tourism Area of ​​the City Council will continue working to generate new tourist centers that dynamically boost other neighborhoods of the city, that deconcentrate the tourist flows and that show the value of the heritage of other areas of Malaga.