News from Andalucia, and the Costa del Sol
In association with
FEBRUARY 1st - FEBRUARY 7th
TWO BILLION PESETAS TOURISM RECORD
The Tourism industry across Andalucia saw a growth of two per cent last year, generating more than two billion pesetas in the region.
During the past year, 19.5 million visitors chose the Costa del Sol as the destination for their holidays, leading to an all time record in profits. Announcing the figures, regional Councillor for Tourism José Hurtado was happy to say that this was the seventh consecutive year of growth.
A closer study reveals that currently 85 per cent of tourists in ANDALUCIA are from the European Community. New promotional campaigns are now underway to attract the United States and Canadian markets. A careful watch on the national market is being kept, with special campaigns aimed at the Spanish regions of the Basque Country, Madrid and Cataluña.
LOCAL INDUSTRY WARNING
José Hurtado was not as enthusiastic on the subject of local industry. He gave a warning to many local businesses in the sector, who remain fragile with large amounts of the trade controlled by foreign capital and large international tour operators. To underline his view of the current situation he pointed out that most of the new hotels under construction in Andalucia were financed by foreign companies and investors. He added that local industry must do all it can to keep control of the end product.
MÀLAGA AIRPORT EXPANSION
Following the doubling of passenger numbers at Málaga Airport over the past 10 years, a new short-term investment of 27,000 million pesetas has been announced. At present growth levels, the airport would reach its capacity of 10 million passengers a year by 2005. However, the money will not go towards a second runway. A spokesman for the AENA Airports Authority said that additional facilities in terminal buildings were now of greater importance.
A THOUSAND JOBS - HOLD THE LINE PLEASE
A thousand new jobs are to be created at the Andalucian Technology Park in Málaga over the next two and a half years as the Sogecable satellite TV and communications introduces a new customer call centre at the site.
The CATSA call centre will also handle customer queries for Repsol, Canal Plus, Carrefour, Toshiba, Uni2 and Jazztel. The news given this week by the regional councillor for Employment and Development, José Antonio Viera, who was in Málaga to open the new modular technology 'incubator' building in the Málaga park.0
ALORA MOUNTAIN RESCUE BASE
A new mountain rescue and intervention group (GREIM) for the province of Málaga is to be based in the Guardia Civil barracks at Alora. Announcing his satisfaction at the news, the Mayor of Alora, Salvador Garcia Cobos, said his town had been chosen because of the practice of high-risk sports in the area of El Chorro.
NEW RECORD FOR ALHAMBRA
The Alhambra in Granada beat its own visitor number record last year with a total number of 2,241,683 - with 34,000 visitors more than the previous year. It ensures the palace's ranking as the most visited site in Spain. Quietest month was January with 90,000 and busiest was August with 238,835.
TOLOX IS EUROPE'S THIRD ECOLOGICAL VILLAGE
Tolox Town Hall has declared the spa village an 'ecological municipality' - the third village in Europe to merit the nomination.
Plans to introduce ecological farming by encouraging farmers not to feed their livestock on artificial products are also under way. Farmers participating in this scheme will be able to claim an annual subsidy of between 3,000 and 5,000 pesetas per head. Also on the drawing board are regulations to reduce contamination and noise pollution in the village itself.
The village of Tolox stands on the edge of the Sierra de las Nieves National Park. Park Director Ricardo Salas has praised the initiative of Tolox, and hopes that it will set an example to other communities in the area. Tolox is now the second ecological village in Spain, the other being Parauto.
ESTEPONA-GUADIARO ROAD WIDENING ON SCHEDULE
Central government representative for Cádiz Ignacio Landaluce has recently stated that the work on widening the N-340 Estepona to Guadiaro bottleneck is on schedule. Barring any last minute hitches the work begun last October should be finished in time to cope with the next year's summer onslaught.
Sr Landaluce's assurances will come as a great relief to those who have to use this dangerous stretch of road on a daily basis. The road accounts for more accidents than any other in Andalucia. Further good news is that the new Torreguadiaro bypass could be in use earlier than summer 2002.
MORE FUNDING FOR NEW PICASSO MUSUEM
Regional government has announced it will destine 2,314 million pesetas to the new Picasso Museum planned for Málaga. The money will be spent in modernising the main building home to the museum - the Buenavista Palace - together with three other nearby buildings integrated into the project. The main palace has already seen work to the roof and new damp proofing measures. Councillor for Culture from the Junta de Andalucia Rosa Torres said that the details of the funding were to be published shortly in the official bulletin. The museum has an opening date of the end of 2002, and will house 186 works from the Málaga born painter.
AXARQIA WINE FOR MÁLAGA
The official classification of Málaga wine - "Vino de Málaga", which has up to now only been awarded to wines from the city itself has now been extended to include wines produced in Cómpeta, Moclinejo and Ucopaxa.
The happy wine growers from the Axarquia were given the news by provincial Delegate for Agriculture José Maria Rodriguez who also announced a new sub classification 'Sierras de Málaga', which would be used for the experimental wines being produced in the Torrox area.
Sr Rodriguez said that wine making had an excellent future in the Axarquia, where more than 250,000 litres are produced each year. He singled out the wines from Cómpeta for being particularly successful.
HEALTHY IN MODERATION
In a separate event, the Málaga Doctors College have recently held a debate on the effects of wine on health. Many of the speakers agreed that a daily glass of wine, preferably red, had beneficial effects when taken with meals, and could even lead to a longer life due to the stimulation of the bodily oxidation processes.
LIVE PERFORMANCE TO RETURN TO ROMAN THEATRE
Excavation work at the site of a Roman theatre in Málaga, below the Alcazaba, has now been taking place for a year and has revealed evidence of an important fish industry in the city. Regional government has said that once the restoration work is completed, in another year's time, it would like to see live performances return to the site, 18 centuries on from its construction.
FIVE STAR HOTEL FOR ANTEQUERA
Málaga businessman, Antonio Martin Criado, has announced plans to build a five star hotel in Málaga, sited at El Romeral to the east of the town. The complex will include a heated indoor swimming pool, a gymnasium, a restaurant in a separate annex and an area of gardens. The plans will be presented for council consideration this week.
Manilva Town Hall has voted to amend the town plan to allow two new developments. This first is a hypermarket to be built on a 2,500 square metres site near the Manisbel disco by the Valencian supermarket chain Mercadona. It is scheduled to be operational by March 2002. Also property developers Umbela will be allowed to build a luxury residential development at Dehesilla near the industrial estate.