Factors Which Encourage Tourism
- Climate – hot summers. Even in winter, constant rain is rare.
- Long stretches of sandy beach (although some are just shingle, and some of the sandy beaches are artificial)
- Lots of high-density low-priced, high-rise hotels and apartments. Unfortunately, this creates a “concrete jungle” effect suddenly, and very compactly against the shoreline.
- Good transport links. The N340 motorway runs very close to the sea shore and Malaga airport is next to some of the largest tourist resorts.
- Nightlife. Many businesses offer flamenco or disco music, alcohol and food. Most resorts have their own nightclubs.
- A wide range of shops in the area
- Water sports
- Golf (although this is putting a strain on local water resources.
- Historic centers such as Seville, Gibralta and Granada
- Cultural locations (Mijas)
Development of Tourism Butler’s Model
In the 1950’s, the Costa del Sol was only really used for fishing and for farming. There was very little guest accommodation, but the environment was virtually entirely unspoiled.
There was still little tourism to the area, especially compared to later figures. The landscape was still in very good condition, but there were more amenities for guests.
The government encouraged the growth of tourism within Spain, as it was a way to provide jobs and raise the standard of living. In Costa del Sol, new hotels and apartment blocks building was encouraged, along with swimming pools, and other sources of entertainment.
Large hotels were built from breeze blocks and concrete. Many new accommodation blocks for tourists were built. Lots of jobs were created in tourism and construction, while more locally-inclined jobs like fishing started to decline. Amenities started to be built upon farmland. Roads started to improve far more than before.
Tourists demanding more amenities to have a better visit, and to fill up their free time while there.
More large hotels built. Time-share apartments became more common. Up to 70% of people had jobs in tourism, due to the multiplier effect.
As more resources are used for the tourists, the features that originally attracted tourists to the area start to deteriorate- such as there being a lot of litter or pollution in the sea. Tourists will start to seek other locations that still have those features.
The world recession in the early 1990’s meant there was limited available money for tourism, and that, ultimately, the prices in Costa del Sol were too high. The impact of this was far greater due to there being cheaper locations elsewhere for holidays. Older hotels were starting to get run-down and low quality.
The government has been trying to encourage the continuation of tourism. VAT has been reduced to 6% in luxury hotels to try to maintain cheap holidays. Stricter controls to improve the quality of the environment have been introduced, including for cleaner beaches and reducing sea pollution.
|Tourists UK -> Spain||1960: 0.4 million||1971: 3.0 million||1984: 6.2 million;
1988: 7.5 million
|1990: 7.0 million|
|Changes in Tourism||Few tourists||Rapid increase, encouragement from government||Maximum (carrying) capacity reached; tourists outstripping resources such as water supply||Decline. World recession; prices too high|
|Accommodati-on||Limited, few hotels, some cottages||Large hotels, more apartments||Large hotels built||Older hotels run down. Only high-class hotels allowed to be built|
|Local employment situation||Mainly fishing + farming||Construction, workers helping in tourism (eg hoteliers, waiters). Decline in food industry||Up to 70% working in tourism||Unemployment increases due to decline in tourism (up to 30%)|
|Infrastructure||Limited access, few amenities. Poor roads. Limited street lighting||Some road improvements; congestion. New bars, discos, restaurants and shops||N340 opened. “Highway of Death”. More urban congestion. Marinas and golf courses built||Bars and cafes closing. Malaga by-pass and new air port opened|
|Environment||Clean. Little pollution. Quiet||Farmland built upon. Wildlife moving out. Beaches and sea less clean||Mountains obscured by hotels. Crime rising (drugs, mugging, vandalism). Noise pollution. Omnipresent litter.||Attempts to clean beaches; EU blue flag beaches. New parks and gardens opened. Nature reserves|