Elche loses out in hotel boost

ELCHE seems to have been left behind in the hotel occupancy stakes these past three months.

While hotel occupancy in the Costa Blanca increased by 10 per cent in July, it fell by between three and four per cent in Elche compared to the same month last year. Hotel occupancy in Elche’s in July was 55 per cent, according to data from Elche’s tourist association AETE.

“These are good results, but they are not comparable with the statistics of the average occupancy across the province,” said Pedro Lopez, AETE spokesman. The average occupancy for the Costa Blanca reportedly equaled 2007’s data for hotel occupancy.

July joined June and May as months were hotel occupation in Elche decreased following on from an increase in occupation from January to April compared to the same period in 2010. “We are concerned because we have not seen a recovery after what we thought was resurgence to the market at the beginning of the year,” said Lopez.

“These days tourists seem to like visiting lots of different places for shorter periods of time,” he added.

Income has also seen a decline in the first seven months of the year, compared to the 2010 average for the same period. This is believed to be due to the decrease in hotel rates by eight per cent, according to Lopez. Based on July’s figures, August’s hotel occupancy is expected to be between 50 and 55 per cent, despite occupancy for the same month in 2010 registering an average of 61 per cent.

“Elche depends on business tourism to a great extent and while business people still travel in July, in August most businesses come to a standstill, so we rely solely on holiday tourism,” said Lopez. “Elche looses out to holiday tourism possibly because there are no hotels on the coast,” said Lopez.

Tourists attracted to Elche in August come for the local festivals including the Mystery Play of Elx – a UNESCO Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity – held on Sunday August 14 and Monday 15 (which is also a national holiday).

The Elche Convention Bureau has also offered various tourist packages in a bid to drive tourism.

Photo credit:Jose Carlos Diez

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