Costa Del Sol- Part II

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

Exploration

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.

Involvement

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.

Development

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.

Consolidation

More large hotels built. Time-share apartments became more common. Up to 70% of people had jobs in tourism, due to the multiplier effect.

Stagnation

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.

Decline/Rejuvenation

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.

Date 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
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

Costa Del Sol- part I

Tourism is a major economic asset in Mediterranean countries, with a strong emphasis on the coast, putting pressure on coastal areas. Despite environmental protection, 200 km of coastline is being developed each year and by 2025, it’s predicted that half of the coastline will be built upon, with some conurbations lasting for hundreds of km.

Pressures on the Costa Del Sol

  • Growing population of coastal areas
  • Development of airports, holiday resorts and general urban sprawl leading to damage to disappearance of fragile wetland ecosystems
  • Poor management of coastal areas leading to change in sediment flows
  • Removal of marine sediment for construction sites has damaged the sea bed
  • Oil and gas infrastructure development has seen a rise in the numbers of oil tankers- about 30% of all oil transits go through the Mediterranean
  • Use of chemicals in agriculture has increased river and sea pollution.
  • Rising rates of eutrophication
  • Industrial developments have increased chemical discharge
  • Uncontrolled waste management
  • Untreated water waste being discharged to the sea
  • 650 tons of sewage, 129,000 tons of mineral oil, 60,000 tons of mercury, 3,800 tons of lead and 36,000 tons of phosphates are dumped in the Mediterranean annually

Shipping- it is estimated 220,000 merchant ships transporting 100 tons of material cross the Mediterranean annually.

Fish stocks- 65% of stock within the region are outside safe biological limits, and many important stocks are threatened

Industry- fish farming in the Mediterranean accounts for 30% of global fish consumption. The industry claims this reduces pressure on wild stocks, but farmed species are often carnivorous so need 5x their weight in wild fish to support them

Management

In 1975, the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) was set up as part of the United Nations’ Environmental Programme (UNEP). MAP’s goal was to protect marine environments along the Mediteranean. In 1995, this was widened to include the whole coastal region.

A strategy was drawn up by 300 scientific experts in a report presented in 2006 which gave the following recommendations:

  • 10% of all marine and coastal habitats should be protected, adding to 80 currently protected wetland areas
  • Green areas between urban areas are to be encouraged to reduce linear development
  • Reduction of linear road building
  • Inland tourism should be encouraged to reduce pressure on the coast
  • Future tourist development should show awareness for the environment in planning and show economic responsibility for the environment when completed
  • Stricter rules to combat pollution from boats
  • Improved energy management in order to reduce the need for coastal power stations
  • All waste water should be fully treated before being discharged into the sea.