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


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.

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

India and Childbirth

Childbirth as employment

Indian women are on average paid US$11,000 to surrogate a Western child. There are huge queues to become a surrogate mother, as it’s worth up to 7 years’ wages per child. Some have chosen to do this, but others are forced to by relatives. Normally a US baby is born every 14 days in each maternity ward.

Some women are paid 3 times as much to donate twice as many eggs as usual (which is also done in Spain and Cyprus. In the UK it’s illegal to sell human sex cells for more than about £1,000.). Huge hormone increases are needed to develop all these eggs, which can cause early menopause and increased risks of cancer. Some dosages done in LICs can be so high that they risk death just from that.

Attitudes to women

When Gandhi protested, he said he wanted to see an India where men
and women were treated as equals. Nehru on Independence Day said that “An India freed from Imperialism would built up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and ensure justice to every man and woman”. This has yet to be achieved.

India has high dowries and a strong desire to marry women to richer men, which only increases the dowry further. Girls are basically seen as useless (unless they can produce lots of surrogate babies, or marry off to a wealthy man).

50 years after independence, women compared to men are:

  • Less economically involved
  • Less literate
  • Expected to live a shorter life

It is an Indian “tradition” to murder girls. Rajputs, Sikhs and other warrior castes prefer daughters to marry to a higher ranked man, leading to an expensive dowry… or a rapid disposal of the child.

In 1981, only the rural North-West had much of an excess of boys. In 1991 child killing had spread. For the first time in history, all of the Indian cities had an excess of boys.

Under British rule

The British were concerned at a census in 1871, where there were 972 women for every 1,000 men (The 1991 figure was 929 women per 1,000 men). In some villages in the census, there were no young girls. A female infanticide act was brought in with heavy penalties for child murder and policemen stationed in prone areas. Still, in 1891, some areas had twice as many boys as girls.

Modern day

Dowries are now often 50% of a family’s disposable income; killing girls has become more common with India’s quickly developing economy. The treatment of girls varies based on the region; in Kerala, girls are educated and a more liberal mindset is taken- daughters are unharmed; meanwhile in the North and Northwest, many daughters are murdered.

Wives play little role in the fields and their value there is reduced further by farm machinery, so girls pay the price for this. The untouchable castes are, interestingly, untouched, as their families need all the income they can get from their children.

Some villages have a 3:1 ratio of boys to girls. Often the births and deaths of women go unreported. If the deaths of girls are admitted to, excuses are given such as the following:

  • “Pneumonia”
  • “Baby just went stiff”

The boys are saved from this because apparently “The correct gifts were given to the gods”.

The Dowry Prohibition Act was introduced in 1961, but has had little effect as the husband’s relatives will ask for commodities such as TVs- and also because people have just ignored the law.

Dowry murder is now a common issue. If a bride’s family doesn’t pay, she has an “accident” with a kerosene stove. At least 2,000 are killed per year by this, and it wasn’t common until the 1970’s.


For a boy, mothers are in hospital for several days. For a girl, they will leave very soon after the birth.

Traditional midwives (dais) will often kill a girl for a fee of 150 rupees (roughly £2). They claim they can assess the sex before birth; in some places each dais admits to a murder every week.

Relatives will often kill the child themselves, or force the mother to feed the baby tobacco, which is highly poisonous to an infant; if she refuses, she is kicked out or murdered herself. These sorts of killings were once only practiced by the higher castes, but trying to copy their “betters” has meant people through all aspects of society could be practicing it. As the economy has improved, the rates of murders have risen.

Kaller– Southern India

Kaller was a criminal area while India was ruled by a Raj. Many were imprisoned for banditry; women were assertive, worked hard and supported their families, especially while the men were jailed. They were poverty stricken, but there were no dowries or infanticides.

In 1958, a dam was built in the area. Some communities could grow cash crops but most stayed poor. Straight away, dowries were introduced in the area. Parents were desperate to marry off their daughters to richer families. It now has among the highest rates of infanticide in India.

In fact it is the place where, for the first time, someone was found guilty of infanticide in India. The mother was imprisoned, but the chances are that her husband forced her to.

Medical science and India’s infanticide

The World Health Organisation insists that sex is not a disease, so termination of a baby by sex is supposedly against international law. Many think prenatal diagnosis was invented to check the sex of the fetus, not to check for disease.

A herbal remedy called “Select” meant to turn girls into boys has been banned by the government.

Prenatal sex tests were banned in 1996, with a 3 year sentence and a heavy fine, but this doesn’t apply to private clinics. “Better 500 rupees today than 500,000 tomorrow” was the (now banned) slogan of one clinic. Bombay has 200 sex-screening clinics alone, with all most all female babies being aborted if found.

This process of rooting out girls is even easier with a portable system taken between villages. Up to a million girls are killed each year. The scanner costs an unskilled worker 2 months’ wages, but for them, this is financially worthwhile.

For the middle classes, private clinics have in vitro fertilisation followed by the selection of a desired sex, and of 12 clinics asked, not a single girl was requested.

(Image sources:

It should be noted I have not source 1 image here; that is for the home gender selection kit picture. Although it is reasonable to show the material that would be used’s advertising, I don’t want to facilitate anybody using it themselves.)

Tourism in Tenerife

Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, a part of Spanish territory off the West coast of Africa. It is dominated by a volcano called Mount Teide, which last erupted in 1909 and is 3,718m tall.

In the 2001 census, Tenerife has 778,000 people. This equates to a 380 people per km^2 population density. Tourism first started there in the 1960s and now accounts for 80% of the GDP. In 2005, about 70% of workers were involved somehow in tourism via service industries. Other industries supporting tourism supplies another 16% with jobs.

Attractions to tourists

  • Humid, subtropical climate

The effect of the Atlantic Ocean means that mean monthly temperatures only range from 18 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees. Sea surface temperatures reach up to 23 degrees. It does not frequently fall below 15 degrees.

Windward slopes receive far more rain than other parts of the island, as do the higher altitude areas due to rain shadowing. The island has a nigh permanent cloud layer because of the orthographic effect of Mount Teide. Because the top of the mountain is so much higher than the cloud layer of 2,000m, the peak area is one of the driest points on the island.

  • Although Tenerife is naturally a rocky island, sand is imported to form beaches (such as Playa De Las Americas and Los Cristianos). These are normally small, however.
  • The climate encourages a high biodiversity on the island
  • There is attractive hiking and walking country in the higher altitude pinewoods.
  • The caldera of Mount Teide attracts many visitors and is in the centre of a national park. A cable car gives access to the summit
  • The caldera has been deemed a World heritage Site as of 2007
  • There are step pyramids at Guimar that were built by the native Guanches people in prehistoric times.

Growth of tourism

Tourism originally started in the North of the island, which was already fashionable to British and Spanish tourists to visit in the late 19th century. It is still the most popular destination for Spanish visitors to the Canary Islands.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s access to flights became far easier and cheaper, allowing more visitors. Longer paid holidays in much of the Western world encouraged people to take holidays to more exotic locations. With this boom tourist activity moved to the South of the country, resulting in rapid urbanisation of a long stretch of the Southern coastline from Los Cristianos to Playa De Las Americas. This area now attracts 60% of Tenerife’s tourists and houses many expatriates. Over 95% of British tourists stay there.

Resorts specialise in low-cost tourism.

Opportunities from tourism

  • Before tourism, Tenerife was a poor, agricultural island. Lack of employment forced people out to other countries. Tourism has counteracted this, and few young people now leave for work.
  • Tourism has created thousands of new jobs
  • It generates 60% of the island’s GDP.
  • Through the multiplier effect, income is generated through many industries
  • Tourism is year-round income
  • Tourism has had to cater for 5 million guests annually, meaning transport has been well upgraded
  • Tourism has its own airport- Tenerife South international airport, completed in 1978, which is the 6th busiest Spanish airport. Tenerife has another airport, and they are linked by a motorway, further helping transport links.
  • Teide National Park was designated in 1954 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to tourists raising awareness of the importance for maintaining the environment  there.
  • Similarly, the Corona Forest Nature Park has been set up, with many other reserves.

Problems from tourism

  • Most new development is of poor quality in the South.
  • There was initially no planning for new developments, creating a concrete jungle, such as in Playa De Las Americas.
  • The towns are unattractive and over built
  • There are high congestion levels
  • The environmental quality reduced tourist visits.
  • Nightlife in some towns has meant the island has an image of rowdiness to potential visitors.
  • Average population growth in the south between 1980 and 2001 was 3.2% compared to an island wide figure of 1.1%. This indicates overcrowding in the South, and also correlates to the massive immigration of other Europeans.
  • Water is very scarce- water supplies are fixed while demand is rising. Most water is from aquifiers, causing water levels to fall and quality to fall too. Either more needs to be supplied by recycling waste or by desalinating sea water, but neither of these are cheap. There are 2 current desalination plants, but the energy for them has to be imported.
  • There are sewage disposal issues and there are reports of 3 sewage plants releasing raw sewage straight into the sea in tourist areas.
  • Beaches in the Southeast are mostly artificial, and supplying all the sand for them requires extensive dredging from the sea floor- and subsequently massive damage to marine ecosystems
  • Local culture is undermined due to the presence of so many British tourists
  • Only 1/3 of the arable land is now farmed
  • Young people leave rural areas for the cities to find work. this work is often low-paid and low-skilled.
  • The Canary Islands have the lowest average wages of anywhere in Spain

The future

The Tenerife Tourism Corporation has been trying to improve the island’s image, due to competition from cheaper destinations. Competitiveness decreasing has been an issue since 1986, when Spain joined the EU and labour costs increased. recent decline in visitor numbers suggest the island’s appeal is stagnating. Today’s tourists have higher expectations than those in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Some 5* hotels, boutique hotels, gold courses and spas have been built to help attract wealthier tourists. This means fewer visitors, but the capital from each should result in higher profitability. Environmental pressure would also be reduced.

However, it is hard to suddenly improve the image of the island for tourists.

Ecotourism and heritage tourism are being promoted to help remove some pressure of the sea front.

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


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.

Europe’s Mountains and Permafrost

Switzerland’s alps have a temperature range of 25 degrees celsius to 2 degrees celsius in the valleys.

Switzerland has specially adapted plants related to its climate. The plants generally have:

  • Bright pigments to protect from UV radiation
  • Bright colours to attract pollinating insects
  • Hairs on their leaves to reduce transpiration and water loss
  • Waxy coatings to reduce water loss
  • The ability to store water

They also:

  • Grow close to rocks to avoid trampling
  • Grow close to the gtound to reduce water loss due to lower wond speeds at ground level.

As forests die away when altitude increases, roots cannot hold the system in place, so avalanches become more prevalent.


Permafrost throughout Europe is melting and threatening alpine facilities, such as villages and ski resorts. Temperatures within a borehole within St Moritz mountain have been shown to have risen by 0.5 degrees since 2000, which may not sound like a lot, but as the internal tempertures were -2 degrees Celsius it could easily lead to the loss of the ice upon it.

The Permafrost and Climate in Europe organisation (PACE) was set up to monitor the effects of climate upon the alps. Permafrost exists as far south as the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain. In Sweden permafrost can be found at an altitude of just 1500m.  In Svalbard, Ice has been found at sea level.

Ranges being monitored include:

  • Pyrenes; Spain, Andorra, France
  • Jotunheimen range; Norway
  • Abisko range; Sweden.

In Svalbard boreholes have been dug into the ice where coal is mined out if the permafrost. The mine buildings have been built from frozen steel. However, this causes issues as the bases of the building can melt ice and permafrost. Thus the buildings could cause subsidance if enough melting occured.

Subsidance could also be an issue in the higher ski resorts where foundations of ski liffs and other buildings; they have been built with the assumption that the ground will remain stable.