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“Omicron Fears Spark Mass Exodus from Costa del Sol Hotels! Spain on Edge!”

December 31, 2023
"Omicron Fears Spark Mass Exodus from Costa del Sol Hotels! Spain on Edge!" - costa del sol scaled - Health and Safety -

Spain’s Hotels Face Christmas Cancellations Amid Omicron Fears

Spain’s hotel industry is grappling with a surge in Christmas cancellations as holidaymakers rescind their bookings due to the escalating concerns over the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The hotel sector, which was gradually recovering, has experienced a setback as both airline and hotel bookings have plummeted in recent weeks. This is in response to the escalating infection rates across Europe.

Impact of Omicron Variant on Travel and Hospitality Industries

While hotel executives argue that it’s premature to assess the variant’s impact on the travel and hospitality sectors, fresh data indicates that the worst phase of the crisis may still be looming, nearly two years after the initial coronavirus outbreak. The Costa del Sol, a popular destination for holidaymakers seeking winter sun, has been particularly affected by the recent wave of hotel cancellations.

Hotel Occupancy Rates Drop on Costa del Sol

Research by the Association of Hotel Entrepreneurs of the Costa del Sol Hotels (Aehcos) reveals that only 55.83% of rooms remained booked in hotels from December 23, 2021, to January 2, 2022. This is a significant drop compared to 2019, pre-pandemic, when hotels along the Costa del Sol typically saw 78% occupancy over the same period.

Omicron Snuffs Out Revival in Demand

Despite celebrating relatively high booking numbers in November, the resurgence in demand has been quashed by the Omicron variant. Jose Luque, President of the Malaga hoteliers, expressed that the new COVID-19 variant has once again put the hotel business in Malaga at a significant disadvantage.

Optimism Amid Setbacks

Despite the low occupancy rates in Malaga’s hotels, Luque remains optimistic that the hotels will rebound quickly once the infection rate decreases. He acknowledged that the highly contagious variant has led to an increase in cancellations but expressed hope that the progress in vaccination and acquired immunity will pave the way for a better 2022.

Current State of Malaga’s Hotels

At present, 21.5% of the total hotels in Malaga, amounting to 71 hotels, remain closed. As the city gears up for the festive season, the hotel industry is hopeful for a swift recovery and a brighter new year.

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