The manager of one of the Costa del Sol ‘s most lucrative hotels says he is feeling “more optimistic than ever” as the Spanish tourism industry slowly comes back to life.

After 18 months of relative lockdown, the Sunset Beach Club boss, Mark Wardell, told the Olive Press that the Spanish tourism industry is finally approaching “some kind of normality”.

Located in Costa del Sol’s Benamadena, the Irish-owned hotel is slowly building back up to its normal staffing levels of 180 employees, who typically service upwards of 2,000 tourists at this time of year.

“We are back up to 120 staff and gradually things are starting to pick up again.

“We’ve seen an improvement this month and then in September we will see a return to some kind of normality. We are very optimistic about that. Actually we’re feeling stronger than ever.”

Wardell says that while the industry will certainly face set backs over the coming months, he is confident that more customers will be ready to travel as international vaccination roll-outs continue.

The 4-star hotel shares the same parent company as Ireland’s Castleknock Hotel and the Heritage Hotel and Spa. As international travel restrictions continue, the Sunset Beach Club has mostly served Spanish customers on the Costa del Sol this summer.

“But we’ve had some guests from elsewhere in Europe and are getting ready to welcome a lot more,” Wardell added.

“The lack of certainty over travel restrictions and tests has made the UK market more hesitant but there is definitely a real pent up demand and I think we’ll be busier than ever come September or October.”

He added: “The last year has really given us all some perspective and made everyone perspective and made everyone appreciate things more and I truly believe the tourism industry will come back stronger than ever.

“People are really looking for a better quality of life, whether for a holiday or a more permanent move, and it’s clear that Spain can offer that.

“The spotlight is back on the Costa del Sol and we’re going to see demand skyrocket. There’s no better place to live after all.”


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