The councillor for tourism, Fanny Serrano, detailed various aspects relating to the data collection in a press conference, which, amongst other things, show how the tourist information offices have received a total of 11,265 visitors, and water consumption indicates a population equivalent to almost half a million people during the summer months.
Serrano said that the number of inquiries that are made in the tourist offices mark “a change of trend” in the way in which tourists demand information, a consolidation of the French market and an increasing use of apartments and homes for tourists offered through collaborative economy platforms.
In terms of occupancy levels, taking into account the objective data on water consumption and rubbish collection, the visitor numbers remain very similar to last summer with a “slight decrease in solid waste but with an increase in water consumption”.
The councillor stressed that they have “noted a change in the way in which tourists demand information”. The request are now reducing in person, and in fact there is a decrease in personal requests in the offices, which is compensated by the information that is offered by alternative channels such as the touch screens that can be used 24 hours a day. During the months of July and August, they were used by 7,558 people.
Despite this change, the tourist information offices of Torrevieja have welcomed a total of 11,265 visitors in July and August, with 65.23% of them being international tourists, and 34.77% domestic. The busiest day was the 17 August, when the main office on Paseo de Vista Alegre received 366 visitors.
Looking at visitors to the offices, in domestic terms, Madrid is still the lead source of tourists, 32.2%, followed by local visitors with 18.4%, País Vasco with 8.7% and Castilla y León with 8.3%. In terms of international consultations, the British top the list this year with 24.8%, but followed closely by the French with 23.4%. The rest of the tourists come from Sweden, Belgium, Germany, among other countries. The tourist office has generally been able to communicate in Spanish and to a lesser extent, in English, French and German.
During his conference, Serrano has also highlighted the success of the various guided tours that have been organised in the city, such as the ecology of the Natural Park of Lagunas de Torrevieja and La Mata, 17 night routes, all of which were fully booked. In addition to guided tours of the city that have received a great reception from both the native and foreign tourists. Since March 16, 34 visits have been made in Spanish and English with a total of 927 people.
The councillor also explained that the hotels of Torrevieja, those of a three and four star rating, have reached an occupation level of 85 percent in July and August, a figure that drops to 63 percent in hotels of a lower rating. The hotel data compares to that of official tourist apartments, which also received 85 percent occupancy, although no data can be given for those apartments not registered.
Despite the figures collated through the tourism officers, Serrano points out that the statistical data that really confirms the number of visitors, whether residential or temporary, are those for water consumption and waste production.
In June, over 4.1 billion kilos of waste were produced, with a slight decrease compared to the previous year of -0.22%, in the month of July, a total of 5.7 billion was collected, a drop of -0.67 from the previous year, and finally, the month of August, of 6.2 billion kilos of waste was taken away, a difference of -3.77% on the previous year. Although each month saw a decline on last year, the councillor states that the drop is so insignificant it should be considered that Torrevieja has experienced, “hardly any change”, compared to 2017.
In terms of water consumption, 29,174 cubic metres were consumed in June, 38,215 cubic metres in July, 42,304 cubic metres in August, and 29,711 cubic metres estimated for September. Thanks to these figures, it could be estimated that Torrevieja has had a population equivalent to 291,741 inhabitants in June, 382,154 inhabitants in July, 423,045 in August and 297,115 in the first weeks of September.
“This year, there has been about half a million tourists and visitors”, the councillor said, beginning to sum up the season, also applauding such developments as the visits to the salt works, a novelty which began this year and will continue until October due to demand. In fact, the tourist train which visited the salt works had 3,013 passengers in July, in August there were 8,814 people on board, including members of the team here, and so far in September, 3,005 visits, a grand total, so far, of 14,832 people who have been given the opportunity to walk where few were allowed before, to the top of the salt piles which are already an icon of Torrevieja, and can now be referenced by those visitors, who can say with pride, I have walked on that!”