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This year recorded the coldest winter for 40 years and this has had quite an impact on hotel revenues in some areas. Despite an overall increase in tourists coming to Spain being recorded over the last 3 years, the winter months have been particularly bad this year, with hotels at the Costa Tropical being forced to close 1,550 beds of a total of 7,260 beds within 83 hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs.
Traditionally passengers flying to Granada Airport during winter were the much sought after pensioners – particularly from the UK and Germany – who’d fill the hotels during the winter months with long-terms stays over Christmas. Everybody benefited. The pensioners spent far less money in Spain than they would have done staying at home, thanks to high fuel prices making heating an issue, and the hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs in the Granada region saw their rooms being occupied.
Now retired guests often go further afield or don’t travel at all. With the Eurozone crisis affecting everybody, long-term stays are becoming a rare thing and the icy cold conditions in Spain this year won’t have helped either. Although some tourists still brave the weather and hire a car to visit the tourist attractions that haven’t closed for the winter, most people want to experience the things Spain is most famous for: hot, sunny climes, sandy beaches and a swim in the Mediterranean Sea.
While Spain’s unemployment figures are steadily rising to exceed 4.6 million, Spaniards are unlikely to flock back to holiday at the Costas, too. Already some tourism industry experts say that more must be done to make Spain more attractive as an off-peak holiday destination rather than relying on just spring and summer revenues.
Sporting events, art exhibitions and major historic collections at museums are certainly one way to attract visitors who don’t come to Spain just for topping up their tan. Until 25th April passengers arriving or departing from Granada Airport, or as it is locally known Federico Garcia Lorca Granada-Jaen Airport, can enjoy an exhibition entitled Un siglo de la industria aeronautica espanola or One Hundred Years of Aviation Industry in Spain.
The exhibition has been organised by the Aena Foundation and aims to tell 100 years of Spain’s aviation history by using scale models of aircraft such as the Bleriot X, an aircraft originally manufactured in Valencia and one of the very first to provide domestic air travel in 1910. The exhibition celebrates not just 100 years of flight in Spain but also commemorates 40 years of Granada Airport history.
Before hiring a car at the airport to travel to the resorts at the Costa Tropical or the Granada region this spring, why not spend an hour at this wonderful exhibition that is as much about Spanish aviation achievements as it is about the rest of the world falling in love with Spain as a holiday destination?