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Pretty little Spanish town getting busier than Barcelona and Benidorm


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A pretty little town in southern Spain has claimed to have succeeded in a major feat – overtaking some of Europe’s most beloved holiday destinations in its latest hotel occupancy figures.

The town hall of Benalmádena, in the southern region of Andalusia, claimed to have overtaken tourism “giants” such as Benidorm and Barcelona.

The councillor of the Popular Party of Benalmádena, Presi Aguilera, hailed some of the tourist numbers recorded by the municipality in 2023 as “spectacular” – and put the spotlight particularly on figures from December.

During the last month of 2023, the town recorded 139,145 hotel overnight stays alone, bringing the total for the year to 3,306,674.

The overall figure marks a 7.3 percent increase in hotel tourists when compared to 2022 and a 11.3 percent increase in hotel overnight stays. 

Ms Aguilera also noted the data regarding tourist numbers and average spending per visitor registered last year were something the town should be proud of. 

Part of this extraordinary success was attributed to the tourist office in Benalmádena, which is extending its opening hours ahead of Easter and the high tourist season, as reported by news outlet SUR

The new hours will see the office open to tourists from 9am until 8pm from Monday to Friday and from 9am until 3pm local time on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. 

Moreover, Benalmádena is focusing more of its attention on making itself known on the international stage by attending tourism fairs such as the ITB in Berlin and WTM in London.

Benalmádena is located on the sought-after Costa del Sol, between the municipalities of Torremolinos and Fuengirola.

While it covers an area of just 10.5 sq mi, it is home to around 68,000 people and is rich in pretty beaches – including the sandy Bil-Bil and the small cove of Torrequebrada. 

The waves of tourists welcomed in Benalmádena didn’t mean that neither Benidorm nor Barcelona suffered last year.

Figures from last year showed that the tourism sector in Benidorm, in the Valencian Community, was able to rebound from the blow being dealt by the pandemic.

Similarly, Barcelona remains one of the most favoured holiday destinations in Spain and across the whole continent, being both a cultural hub and home to stunning beaches. 

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