By Euro Weekly News Media • 14 April 2011 • 14:17
DESPITE hopeful predictions that unrest in the Arab world would bring tourists flocking to the region, in Almeria there are nine hotels which haven’t yet opened for this season. March and April mark the start of a new season, but since 2009, the tourism sector has been seeing numbers dropping, and there are 26 hotels with 9,600 hotel vacancies throughout Andalucia which are unavailable simply because the hotels can’t afford to open which such low occupancy, although Easter is approaching and an influx of visitors is expected.
In some cases, hotels can only afford to open for five months during the year.
There should be 206,839 vacancies in total throughout Andalucia, but last winter, 40 per cent had to close, more even than the previous year, remembered as one of the worst, as many hotels closed down completely and put many out of work, according to the Commerce, Catering and Tourism Federation of union Comisiones Obreras in Andalucia.
Malaga is the Andalucian province where most hotels remain closed, with 10 in total, making 2,900 fewer vacancies.
Almeria has nine hotels closed but is losing out on 3,714 vacancies which could be booked this Easter.
The unions are hopeful that all Andalucian hotels will be open for Easter, especially as their closure has a knock-on effect, and many complementary businesses and activities have to close down completely, making the area less attractive to visitors.
Meanwhile, the government has cut back on state funded tours for senior citizens, with 200,000 fewer places, despite the fact that it was this type of activities which kept many hotels open.
On the other hand, the Junta de Andalucia has made sure that 80,000 places are available for the European Senior Tourism programme.
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