With Easter fast approaching, it is no surprise that the rain has arrived too.
Every year we look forward to Semana Santa; the carnival atmosphere; Spanish cuisine and rain. Why does it always rain at Easter?
Businesses in the region look forward to the festival for another reason though – tourists. As schools across Europe close for the holidays many hundreds of thousands of tourists will arrive in Malaga with money to spend. Even if they don’t have large wads of disposable income they will still need to fill their bellies and quench their thirst so some businesses are guaranteed to see an increase in takings.
Hoteliers in the region are hoping the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain as hotel bookings have so far been 9% lower than last year, according to the Málaga province’s hoteliers’ association, AEHCOS.
The four start Hotel Fuerte in Marbella reports 78% occupancy for the first half of easter week, with 87% for Thursday and Friday and the owners think further bookings will depend on the weather.
The rain affected bookings in 2011 when the second week of Easter being a wash-out. Many hotels saw occupancy fall during the second week.
The current forecast is for rain for the first half of the week with a possibility of more rain in the second half (it’s raining now).
Some hotels are not so worried though. Holiday World in Benalmadena say they have received a similar number of bookings to last year and are almost fully booked for the long weekend.
Tourists play a huge part in the Semana Santa festivals as they inject much needed cash into the economy. The Spanish will spend an average of 240 – 400€ over the five-day holiday and the hope is that the tourists will too!
I read a nice article about Semana Santa written by artist Nicolas de Lacy Brown, a regular visitor to Marbella. You can read it here: Semana Santa – Easter Spanish Style