Roxtar Group | July 12th 2020

The 2020 Costa del Sol Tourist Season Doesn't Look Promising

Meager Booking Rates and Over 40% Last-Minute Cancellations Reported by Marbella Hotels and Travel Agencies

By Ernesto Jonsson, Executive Director

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A lovely summer evening in Puerto Banús, Marbella

So far, the tourist season for 2020 and 2021 is not looking promising. Local hotels, hostels and travel agencies report below average results, with meager booking rates and over 40% last-minute cancellations for both national and foreign visitors. Currently, the industry is trying to develop a plan with the local and regional governments to improve the situation. As it stands, the expectations are moderate to low for this summer, with a minor recovery predicted during autumn (October – November).

Despite all the safety rules, it's fair to say that people have doubts about spending their Marbella holidays at a hotel with hundreds of other guests. This may explain why several property owners are seeing spikes in demand on their holiday lets and experiencing a reasonable rate of inquiries and booking perspectives compared to hotels. However, many property owners are precautious due to possible last-minute cancellations, which has brought the commercial and private rental markets to a breaking point.

As we are heading into the busiest time of the year when it comes to tourism, it's hard to predict how things will progress. Although property sales are at a minimum, there is an increase in sales activity, yet mainly from those who made plans before the pandemic. The housing market is active but generally driven by short and long term rentals. COVID-19 discount hunters are trying to make the most of it, but property prices are reasonably stable.

Before we conclude, we have to see how the months of July and August plays out. There is a growing feeling that in September, we will see more holiday let properties move over to long term lets, seeking further shelter from uncertainty. That said, the housing market seems to be holding its breath before deciding on new steps. If the market demand and virus remains stable, we should be able to see sales improvements already at the end of this year towards the beginning of 2021.