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Forecasts of another record year for tourism in Marbella look to be on target after a busy start to Easter week and the prospect of ‘no vacancies’ signs going up over the weekend.

While second homes and the booming rental apartments market have proved popular, the most accurate short-term measure of visitor numbers remains hotel occupancy—and those figures are looking particularly strong this Easter.

The week started with bookings accounting for up to 80% of available capacity as visitors descended on the town for the first important holiday of the year, with forecasts of up to 100% occupancy from Thursday onwards.

Marbella has 6,546 rooms with a total 14,767 beds in 50 hotels and eight apart hotels and, according to Marbella’s tourism department, the high-end hotel sector is flourishing. Five-star hotels showed an 80% occupancy rate since Sunday, with those with four stars reporting a 77% average occupancy and establishments of three, two and one stars reaching 75%. All are expected to be full for the long weekend. These figures are for hotels only and do not include pensions and hostels.

In recognition of the number of tourists, town hall workers have been busy ensuring the beaches and public spaces of the town are in top condition and lifeguards have been put in place until March 27th. They will return for the summer season from June 1st.

All indicators predict a busy year ahead following a record-breaking 2015 that saw some 9.4 million visitors spend well over €9 billion in Andalucía alone. Holiday bookings from the UK to Spain are up 27% for the summer, according to tour companies organisation ABTA, leading to the strong likelihood that this year will surpass last. Similar figures are quoted from Scandinavian countries as well.

Numbers of this kind are highly significant for Marbella’s real estate industry on several levels—particularly that of consumer confidence. Quite simply, the more confident people are about the economy the more likely they are to invest in their own home or a second residence. It also increases Marbella’s exposure and international profile, and offers second home owners the prospect of rental returns from holiday lets—an important consideration for many looking to buy an investment property.

A sign that international confidence in Spain is strengthening is provided by the latest figures from the Ministry of the Economy, which show inward investment in construction of €7.7 billion from foreign companies in 2015. Of that, €3.019 billion was for residential property—much of it in resort areas like Marbella to cater for holidaymakers and those wanting a sunshine getaway apartment or villa.

If you are searching for a home on the Costa del Sol, Marbella Direct has a fine selection of properties for sale in all parts of the area. Please contact us for more information.