Category Archives: Finance

Occupancy in Ronda Hotels Averages 40%

Spain’s National Institute of Statistics has completed its annual survey of employment on the tourism industry, highlighting that 250 people are directly employed by Ronda hotels.

During 2009 Ronda received 243,939 visitors who stayed at least one night in a Ronda hotel. This amounted to an average occupancy of 40% climbing to 50% at weekends, and around 95% during the Pedro Romero Feria and the following long weekend.

The strongest months in Ronda were April and May, and August to October which confirms the feeling shared by many hoteliers in Ronda that the summer months of June and July are just too hot for most tourists despite these being the months of Spanish school holidays.

Foreign tourists accounted for 54.5% of visitors in 2009, and the remainder 45.5% being Spanish, though significantly the 2009 figures show growth in domestic tourism of 3% as foreigners stay home or go to cheaper locations in Europe and North Africa to compensate for poor economies in their home nations.

Ronda News: Ring road to create 327 new jobs

In Ronda news, 327 jobs are to be created in Ronda over the coming months as work on the ring road and a new Arriate bypass begins, with a budgeted 18.5 million Euros allocated.

The economic recession in Spain has hit particularly hard in Ronda with tourism numbers down across the board, and the total collapse of the construction industry hampering efforts  to recover. An additional 327 jobs in this climate, 70% of them direct on the project, and the remaining 30% from indirect employment related to the construction work is certainly a major development.

Funding is being provided by Plan Zapatero, an economic stimulus program created by the national government to infrastructure projects going and dampen the blow to the economy with record unemployment of 22% nationally. Ronda’s ring road works are being coordinated by the province of Málaga Public Works and Transport Delegation.

All three of Ronda’s main road entrances are to receive work, with construction at the A-397 San Pedro road, and A-374 Sevilla road already started, and preparation work on the Campillos roundabout underway. The Arriate bypass planning has been finalised with construction to begin later this year.

Construction involves;

A-397 access near the new Ronda hospital at the beginning of the A-397 to San Pedro. As traffic increases with the ongoing construction and then opening of the hospital, traffic delays could be expected. An 80m bridge is being built and an overpass constructed for traffic going to and from San Pedro, this should free up the roundabout for local traffic.

A-374 overpass at La Dehesa to remove an accident blackspot as traffic leaving Ronda has to cross the busy ring road, instead traffic will filter into the stream as is normal on most highways.

A-366 and A-367 underpass to be built for traffic coming from A-374 entering Ronda on Avenida de Málaga, which will allow free movement of traffic from the Campillos/Arriate direction into Ronda.

MA-7403 to A-367 Bypass of 6km from Puerto del Monte directly to the A-367 Ardales road, which will remove through traffic from Arriate village, making the drive to Los Prados and Setenil quicker. People in Arriate have been complaining about traffic congestion for years, especially at a section of Calle del Carril which isn’t wide enough for traffic to pass.

Announcing the funding and approval of construction, Dolores Fernández, the delegate from the provincial council stated that the creation of 327 new jobs in and around Ronda should give a valuable boost to the local economy, and at the same time improve transport communication between Ronda an the villages of the Serranía, as well as making the drive safer.

Local environmentalists have criticised aspects of the development, particularly at La Dehesa where several thousand pine trees from the Parque Dehesa del Mercadillo have been felled to make way for the overpass and access on the A-374. Fernández has given assurances that 14,000 new trees will be planted after construction is complete, however she refused to be drawn on plans to purchase land in the immediate vicinity of the park.

Concern is mounting amongst environmentalists that the planting of replacement trees will be swept under the rug, and that petty politics between local and provincial governments will intervene resulting in the trees never being replaced. A petition is being organised by Ecologists in Action to demand public consultation on the replanting of trees.

Ronda’s mayor, Antonio Marín Lara has appealed to the people of Ronda and surrounding villages to be patient as work gets underway, with construction not expected to be finished before 2013. He commented that 24,000 vehicles per day use the ring road, and that the benefits to Ronda of improving the local economy far outweigh the short term inconvenience and loss of a small number of pine trees which will anyway be replaced with trees endemic to the area.

Hotel Occupancy Up in Ronda during Recent Long Weekend

Hotel Ronda Room
Hotel Ronda Room

Very exciting news for hoteliers and owners of self-stay accommodation in Ronda as the recent long weekend generated 90% occupancy across all of the Ronda Hotels.

Over four days, from Saturday 5th to Tuesday 8th December, Ronda was at its busiest with thousands of visitors from other parts of Andalucía and further afield descending on the city of the Tajo to enjoy the “puente”, translated as bridge holiday but also known as a bank holiday weekend.

“I had to turn people away, and with so many hotels closed for winter it was difficult to find alternative accommodation for guests”, so said Nieves Lara the proprietor of Hotel Ronda.

Statistics released by the Councillor for Tourism Maribel Morales show that 62.5% of visitors stayed at least one night in Ronda, while the remaining 37.5% were day trip visitors from Sevilla and the Costa del Sol. Most visitors stayed two nights in Ronda, with 11% staying the full four nights.

These figures are encouraging given the depth of recession in Spain this December, though retailers and a significant number of restaurateurs are complaining that takings are well down on previous years.