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While July and August water consumption increased in Torrevieja by 1.08% over those recorded last summer, hotel occupancy during July exceeded 80%, while in August the figure reached 85%.

That figure increased to over 90% occupancy during the August Assumption weekend. The statistics were released last week by Councillor for Tourism, Luis María Pizana.

The main international markets from which they arrived during this summer, as in previous years, were Britons (2,633), followed by Scandinavians (2,156), having seen a very significant increase, France (1,779) and Belgium (602). There were also tourists from Germany (567) and from Eastern Europe (537), as well as Italy (96) and Switzerland (101).

In terms of tourists of Spanish origin the city of Madrid (3,051), followed by del País Vaco (990), Castilla-Leon (747) various locations in Valencia (531) and Castilla-La Mancha (434).

Pizana said that there had also been a significant increase in sports and cultural tourism in the city.

The gateway to Spain’s Costa del Sol, the municipality of Malaga is steeped in culture and history, from its contemporary art centre to its two Moorish castles and museum dedicated to the city’s most famous son – Pablo Picasso. It is also home to some of Spain’s finest beaches, with wide expanses of sand at locations such as Estepona attracting hordes of tourists each year.

In fact, the autonomous community of Andalucía, where Malaga is located, attracted some 7.9 million international tourists during 2013 (up 4% on 2012) according to Andalucia.com. The area’s combination of sunshine, beaches and delicious cuisine has proved a winning combination with visitors for decades.

Now, the world’s largest cruise ship is set to join the list of those enjoying Malaga’s myriad attractions. On September 11, the 361.6 metre long MS Oasis of the Seas, which has 16 decks and can hold up to 6,365 passengers, will dock at Malaga en route from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona. The ship features the usual range of bars, restaurants, lounges and shops but also includes everything from a miniature golf course, 5 swimming pools, 10 whirlpools, an ice-rink, tattoo parlour and water park.

The cruise liner industry is one that has experienced massive growth over the past decade, with passenger numbers doubling from 10.4 million in 2004 to 20.9 million in 2013, according the Cruise Market Watch. By 2018, the figure is expected to rise to 24.1 million. In the 2015 and 2016 alone, 17 new cruise ships are expected to come online, adding $3.4 billion in annual revenue to the industry.

Spain is a popular destination not just for cruise passengers. According to the UN World Tourism Organization’s Tourism Highlights 2014 Edition report, it is the third most visited country in the world, with the Costa del Sol amongst the leading tourist attractions.

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España, one of Spain’s most prestigious and respected homebuilders, comments,

“Spain, and in particular the Costa del Sol, has so much to offer that tourists can spend weeks here and still go home feeling that there were things that they didn’t have time to do. It’s one of the reasons that so many look to purchase a second home in Spain, so that they can return time and again in order to make the most of this fascinating country.”

The current strength of the pound against the euro has certainly also played a part in prompting buyers from the UK to look to Spain to find the holiday home of their dreams. Those wishing for property in the Malaga area would do well to consider the stunning new Horizon Beach development in Estepona.

With direct access to the beautiful, 2km long Galera Beach, overlooking the Bay of Gibraltar, the two and three bedroom homes at Horizon Beach boast sea views, private gardens or sunroof terraces and a delightful cream marble finish in living rooms and bedrooms. With delivery set for June 2015, prices start at just €400,000.

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.

The southern Spanish city of Malaga is set to be the home of the first ever Pompidou museum outside of France, a further boost to the city’s growing reputation as a hub for the arts.

The custom ‘Cube’ construction, designed as the first-ever satellite museum of Paris’s famous Pompidou Centre, will open in March 2015.

Displaying significant pieces including works by the city’s most famous artist, Picasso, ‘El Cubo’, will be erected on Quay no. 1 of Malaga’s harbour and remain in place for at least five years.

The local government of Picasso’s native city has agreed to contribute €2.1 million (€2.75 million) to the project being jointly run with France’s national museum of art.

It cements Malaga’s growing reputation as a hub for culture, evidenced by the presence of over 30 museums, including the major Picasso Museum, which opened in 2003.

The city is also set to welcome a branch of Saint Petersburg’s State Russian Museum in 2015.

Malaga’s mayor, Francisco de la Torre Prados, described El Cubo’s location in a statement as “an excellent entry and crossing point for the many tourists visiting the historical centre.”

According to art industry journal The Art Newspaper, the first 93 permanent pieces to travel to Malaga from Pariswill include ‘Ghost,’ by Kader Attia, Max Ernst’s 1961 ‘The Imbecile’, Francis Bacon’s 1971 Self-portrait, a piece by Catalan artist Joan Miró, and ‘The Flowered Hat’, a 1940 piece by Picasso.

As well as 2,000 square metres of display spaces for permanent exhibitions and 362 square metres for rotating temporary exhibitions, El Cubo will also feature a 128-seat auditorium plus ‘Studio 13/16′, an area dedicated to teenagers.

“Through its mediation work with audiences, the Centre Pompidou fosters wide attendance and primarily addresses those who are not naturally drawn to visit museums,” said the Pompidou in a press statement.

Three companies – Heineken, Unicaja and Italcementi – have agreed to sponsor El Cubo to offset costs to the city hall.

Local daily La Opinion de Malaga reported that El Cubo is expected to generate 400 new jobs and generate annual revenues of over €18.5 million thanks to an anticipated 200,000 visitors a year.

Foreign tourists spent 34.497 billion euros in the first seven months of this year, official figures indicated on Wednesday.

The figure meant a 7 percent increase in comparison with the same period in 2013, according to the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism that published the data.

Average daily spending per tourist stood at 109 euros in the first seven months of the year, increasing by 0.4 percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, the average spending per tourist stood at 950 euros, registering no variation in comparison with a year ago.

Tourists from Britain spent the largest quantity of money in the first seven months of the year with a total of 6.812 billion euros and a rise of 7.1 percent year-on-year.

They were followed by tourists arriving from Germany, who spent 5.461 billion euros, which meant a 6 percent increase when compared with the same period in 2013.

Visitors from the Nordic countries and Spain’s neighboring country France followed the Germans. Tourists from the Nordic countries spent 3.646 billion euros, which meant a 6.8 percent increase year-on-year, while the French spent 3.269 billion euros, 6.5 percent more than in the same period in 2013.

Foreign tourists spent the largest amount of money in the northeastern region of Catalonia, where they spent 8.151 billion euros in the first seven months of the year. Catalonia was followed by the Canary Islands, where international visitors spent 7.056 billion euros.

The ministry also reported that in July alone foreign visitors spent 8.151 million euros, which meant a 4.5 percent more than in July, 2013. Average daily spending per tourist stood at 104 euros while the average spending per tourists stood at 983 euros.

Spain has had enough of economic doom and gloom. The sun-kissed Iberian country has put its economic troubles behind it and is now leading Europe in the race to build a better and brighter future.

Figures from EU statistics office Eurostat have shown that the Spanish construction sector has registered a massive year on year increase of 42.4% for May 2014 – the highest percentage of any country in Europe and well above the European Union’s registered increase of just 3.2%.

The construction boom is set against a backdrop of strong performance from Spain’s housing market, with data from the General Council of Notaries showing a 16.3% increase in home sales in June 2014 compared with the same month a year earlier. Apartment sales have grown by a healthy 11.6%, while family home sales have shot up by 37.9%, according to Diario Sur.

Much of the activity has been focused on Spain’s delightful Costa Blanca area. Leading Spanish homebuilder Taylor Wimpey España has found that British and Russian buyers, along with domestic purchasers, are leading the market’s revival. Marc Pritchard, the company’s Sales and Marketing Director, comments,

“Real estate transactions by British buyers have increased more than 20% according to the British Embassy in Spain and certainly here at Taylor Wimpey España we’ve noticed an upsurge in purchasers from the UK. We’ve also had a high level of interest from Russian buyers, with Spain’s golden visa capturing the attention of many wealthier individuals from outside of the EU.

“The market right now is being buoyed up by second home buyers who want a holiday home in the sunshine that they can one day retire to. It’s not about investment and flipping properties any more – it’s a lifestyle market nowadays.”

La Recoleta III is a prime example of the high quality properties that are driving the residential construction boom. Just a few metres from the soft white sands and sparkling sea of Punta Prima, Torrevieja (Alicante), the stunning two and three bedroom apartments offer lifestyle buyers everything they could wish for, with prices from just €142,000. Private terraces enjoy beautiful sea and pool views and the apartments themselves are delightfully high spec; the penthouses even include solariums.

Mallorca is another area where the Spanish property market revival can be felt, with Taylor Wimpey España very much leading the construction sector. The homebuilder’s key-ready Cala Magrana III resort is a new residential complex just 600 m from Cala Anguila beach. Two bedroom apartments start at €230,000.

Its privileged position affords extraordinary sea views over this natural paradise, while the local area offers the chance to sample the wonderful local cuisine and explore the famous caves of Drach. A wide range of water sports and various golf courses ensure that there is something for everyone, while those who prefer a less active holiday or retirement can simply relax by the pool, enjoying the tranquillity of the property under the hot Spanish sun.

For more information please contact Taylor Wimpey España today on 08000 121 020 or visit www.taylorwimpeyspain.com. Those residing outside of the UK should call 0034 971 70 69 72.