Record numbers of tourists inSpain could make 2017 a highly lucrative year for savvy homeowners who let their property to holidaymakers, said PropertyAndSpain.co.uk in February.
Early indications indicate that interest in Spain from foreign tourists will continue to rise this year. At the end of January, market analysts GfK revealed that early bookings for summer holidays to Spain were already 16 per cent up on last year. Meanwhile, the latest European Hoteliers Report showed that hotel occupancy rates in Spain increased 3.7 per cent year-on-year in 2016, with the total-year occupancy level there being the highest since 1999.
“The weaker pound, triggered by the Brexit vote, hasn’t affected British people’s desire to visit Spain, as doom-mongers had predicted,” said Director of PropertyAndSpain.co.uk Julian Walker. “While there has a been a dip in property-buyers from the UK, more Britons visit Spain than any other nation and last year their visitor numbers rose by 12 per cent, reaching 17.8 million, compared to the previous year.”
Continued Mr Walker: “Foreign tourists totalled 75.6 million in 2016, while a record-breaking 161.7 million international travellers touched down in Spain. It would appear the country is benefiting from the downturn that has hit other destinations, including Northern Africa and the Middle East, where ongoing security concerns are deterring Western tourists.”
Spain’s booming tourism market presents an opportunity to maximise income from holiday rentals. According to PropertyAndSpain.co.uk, the Costa Blanca is one of the most reliable destinations to own a holiday rental home. Here are five key reasons for this:
1) Air access is excellent, with a huge choice of budget flights from all over the UK as well as Europe. Alicante airport, where 42 per cent of passengers in 2016 were from the UK, serves the entire Costa Blanca, but the northern part can also be reached by Valencia airport and the southern part by Murcia-San Javier airport. Flight times from most of Europe and transfer times to the main resorts are short, thanks to the AP-7 motorway which runs the length of the Costa.
2) Development in most resorts along the Costa Blanca is predominantly private residential, as opposed to commercial or hotels. Package holidays are typically limited to certain resorts. This makes renting a private apartment, townhouse or villa the natural choice for most holidaymakers looking for accommodation in the Costa Blanca, and works well with the cheap flight options available.
3) It offers something for all budgets and tastes. Orihuela Costa in the south offers a string of friendly beach resorts, including Punta Prima, Play Flamenca, Cabo Roig, where easy access to the beach and amenities make it popular with resident expats as well as families. The north is popular for its more verdant, undulating coastline, where more upmarket resorts, such as Moraira, Calpe and Jávea, offer the chance to buy luxury villas, often in stunning locations overlooking the Med, as well as apartments and townhouses.
4) Prices are not inflated. Day-to-day living costs, including eating and drinking out, are low in the Costa Blanca, compared to the UK and more exclusive parts of Spain. This is appealing to holidaymakers as much as expat residents.
5) The rental season is long. In the Costa Blanca, summer is hot, spring and autumn are balmy, and winter can be mild, which makes property there appealing for much of the year.