Wildfires in the interior of Malaga province: How to help

The wildfires in the interior of Malaga province are the worst disaster that struck the Costa del Sol in 20 years. Ironically, the news spread around the globe like a wildfire; yet, living and working just a few kilometres and updating every half an hour about the evolution of the incident, we now sadly know how devastatingly fast can move a wildfire.

malaga fireMany things happened during these 48 hours of fire inferno of 10 to 15 meter high flames fanned by a strong wind and devouring everything in its wake; many things the world will not know because they might not be mere information. More than 8.000 hectares (80.000000m²) burned land are a vast space for many sad stories and a large human response which arose mainly in the accounts of social networking, where people called for help, organized volunteers, the victims relate the event, where you can see heartbreaking photos, people offer accommodation for homeless families, others call for clothes collections or for afforestation in the affected area.

There are as well several very affected animal shelters in the Mijas area which urgently need material supply and financial help (English www.kimsanimalrescue.com German www.katzenhilfe-ohne-grenzen.de and Spanish www.malagafelina.com

We can turn our head the other way, not to see .. because it is uncomfortable and painful, or we can reach out and ease the pain of others. Maybe tomorrow is our turn …


Around 28.000 cruisers will be arriving at Malaga during the Fair

A total amount of 27.796 cruisers will be arriving at Malaga city on eight different ships during the Fair of the capital city, which will be taking place from the 11th to the 19th of August. To be precise, 21.382 passengers and 6.414 members of the crew, which means a 35% increase compared to the Fair last year.

Furthermore, one day after, on the 20th of August, local bank holiday, another two cruises will be reaching the city with 7.923 travellers: the Independence of the Seas and the Azura, according to the information provided this Thursday by the Tourism, Culture and Sport councillor.

The councillor reminded everyone that the Tourist Board will be scheduling a new program of cultural activities with the aim of motivating the visit of the tourists that arrive at the city.

Campaign during the Fair

Malaga town hall’s Tourist Board has launched a special campaign to face the increased informative demand during these days due to the large amount of tourists and visitors that arrive at the city coinciding with the celebration of Malaga’s August Fair.

Also, during this festive week, more than 15.000 fans will be shared out with all the necessary information to fully enjoy the Fair and more than 10.000 flyers.

Tourist Information points

The tourist information points will be reinforced with specific promotional material as well as specialised staff. In this sense, Caneda has explained that the tourist information office situated in the Plaza de la Marina, that as from the following 1st of August will be thematised and decorated with elements related to the bullfighting fair, will be open every day of the week during the Fair, Sundays and bank holidays included, from 9 o’clock in the morning right through till 8 o’clock in the evening, nonstop.

As for the office situated in La Casita del Jardinero (the gardener’s cottage), recently opened, wil be open from Monday to Sunday from 9am to 6pm, except on Friday the 10th of August that, coinciding with the inauguration of the Fair, will remain open right through till 8pm.

The tourist information points situated in the Avenida de Andalucia, Alcazabilla street, Maria Zambrano train station, Malaga airport, the port’s maritime stations, have also been reinforced, as well as the bicycle information service, that will be attending the visitors in different strategic points around the city.


The promotional strategy of the Fair will be completed with the launching of a microsite hosted in www.malagaturismo.com, from where all the Fair-related information can be consulted, from the general program to the different thematic activities that will be taking place during those days.

This microsite will contain sections in which we can also check out the bullfighting fair program, the timetable of the musical events, the activities for the little ones, the audiovisual content of the destination, tips to spend an unforgettable day at the Fair, the situation of the huts in the ‘Real del Cortijo de Torres’, useful information about the entrances in public transport or private vehicle and the exhibitions that can can be visited in the museums and exhibition areas of the city.

The communication via social networks like Twitter and Facebook will also be a key factor so that the tourists can check out what’s going on in the city every day.

Malagacar.com will release soon new discount voucher codes for the summer season

Our contact in Malagacar.com has told us they will soon release new discount code vouchers for car hire in Malaga during the summer season. Those waiting for the best deals should pay attention during this month of May.

How to get the new car rental discounts?

Just follow Malagacar.com in Facebook, Google+ , Twitter or subscribe to their newsletters and you are done.

What about car rental availability?

Malagacar.com has a fleet of more than 2000 vehicles and about discount voucher codes, it depends…sometimes are until end of existences and sometimes they release a voucher for the whole year.

What is the fuel policy for car hire in Malaga?

While other companies bill for a full tank of fuel, Malagacar.com offers half tank of fuel, enough for most of us.

Do I need my credit card for booking online?

No, under no circumstance malagacar.com will ask you for your credit card details online.

What about cancellation fees?

If you don’t have to pay in advance, that means…there are no cancellation fees! What if your holiday start a few days later, a new volcano erupts, or lollipops start falling from sky and planes can’t fly? it is good to know you will not have to pay any penalty.

Do I really need to hire a car in Malaga?

Well…you are not obligated!, but it is a good idea because in Malaga most popular destinations are not close to each other. Let’s say you are in Marbella, and want to visit Ronda (a must), or just visiting Malaga centre…distance is a bit large if not using a car.

Where can I subscribe to the car rental newsletters or check prices?


Updates (9-July-2012):

Malagacar just released a Press Release the last week:

Royal Caribbean operates the only transatlantic cruise with boarding in Malaga

Liberty Of The Seas docked in San Juan, Puerto...

Liberty Of The Seas docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Malaga to San Juan, in Puerto Rico. This is the itinerary of the only transatlantic cruise that will allow the boarding of passengers at Malaga port this year, according to the Malaga port’s managing director, Sebastian Camps. The ship company Royal Caribbean has been the one in charge of programing this fifteen-day trip, that will departing Malaga on the following 3rd of November, and that’s successfully selling tickets from 750 euros.

“It’s the first time we strongly focus commercially on this product, although last year a transoceanic cruise also departed from Malaga port”, the ship company pointed out. The ship chosen for this trip is the ‘Adventure of the Seas’, that as from next Saturday and until the 3rd of November will be initiating at Malaga port a one-week cruise around the Mediterranean.

The trip to the Caribbean will be marking the end of the operation as the base port of the Royal Caribbean in Malaga, given that the ship, with a capacity for 3.800 passengers and 311.1 metres long, will carry on touring the American coasts during the winter.


The passengers of this transatlantic cruise departing from Malaga will be able to discover, over these fifteen days of the trip, the Funchal islands (Madeira), Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria and Tenerife before beginning five days of sailing. After these, the cruisers will enjoy the Caribbean islands of St. John’s, Antigua; Phillipsburg, St. Maarten and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas until the end of the cruise in the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico. “It’s a very attractive itinerary that’s very demanded in the national market with many foreign clients. In fact, it’s expected that the vast majority of passengers are from several different countries, highlighting the UK. In Spain’s case, they have sold many tickets to groups in Malaga that have come all the way from Canarias”, explained the ship company, that also pointed out that some of the passengers plan to extend their stay in Puerto Rico, from where they’ll be returning by plane.

This ship company will be playing the star role in the cruising activity in Malaga today with the arrival at the port of the biggest ship to sail around the Mediterranean, the ‘Liberty of the Seas’, with a capacity for 4.328 passengers. This ship will be sharing the dock with  Pullmantur, that will be bringing around two thousand tourists to Malaga. In total, over 6.000 cruisers will be visiting the city.

The biggest sailing ship company in the world chooses Malaga as its base port until 2013

The American sailing ship company, the biggest in the world, launches in Malaga a new way to travel around the high seas sailing under full sail and places Malaga port on the map of luxury cruises. Star Clippers, the one that all the rest of the companies of these type of small passenger ships look up to, those that combine the tradition with the services of a tourist capable of paying a minimum of two thousand euros for a seven-day trip, has chosen Malaga port as its base for its 2012 and 2013 program. Therefore, the announcement of placing a ship in Malaga to schedule five regular departures as from September this year and the same next year, is an extra value for the port of the Costa del Sol’s capital, beyond the volume of passengers that this sailing ship company moves.

The Port of Málaga.

The Port of Málaga. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marie Krafft, the company’s sales manager, advanced yesterday on one of the decks of the Royal Clipper, under the ship’s five masts, that they have programed a one-week cruise with the Star Flyer, that will be leaving Malaga to sail around the coasts of Andalusia and Morocco, as from the 15th of September till the 20th of October. Furthermore, she also advanced that for the 2013 program, that’s still in process, they’ll be contemplating this port once again to schedule many other departures with embarkation and disembarkation in Malaga.

The Star Flyer, with four masts and 16 sails, that will be based in Malaga, can carry 170 passengers that will be able to discover Tangier and Casablanca, flanking the mountains of the Atlas, Cadiz, Gibraltar and Motril. “We trust that the response of the national market proves that there is potential for these type of cruises that combine activities of a smooth adventure, the introduction to sailing and some romantic routes. Our clients, from 25 different nationalities, are people in search of something very different. In a way, it’s as if we have gone back in time 100 years”, said Krafft.

The sun and sea tourism deals better with the crisis

Former train station of Fuengirola, currently ...

Former train station of Fuengirola, currently converted into a tourism information office. Fuengirola, Spain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The traditional holiday destinations, with Benalmadena in the head group, have firmly resisted the downfall of the crisis during these last three years. According to a brief presented yesterday by Exceltur, the most touristic points of the country, linked to the offer of sun and sea, have not only not decreased during this period, but they managed to close last year with an overall balance of growth, in both profitability and employment.

This brief, that analyses the evolution of the 105 top-quality municipalities in the industry, highlights the behaviour of Benalmadena, that increased its hotel occupation, between 2008 and 2011, in 2.3 points -between 73.2% and 75.5%- and in 11.6 points the income received per room, which means 5.6% more than in the average of the best areas of the coast.

The excellent result of Benalmadena, that is experiencing the eighth most steepest increase in the country, only behind destinations like Ibiza and Roses, stands out above other consolidated places like the Costa del Sol. Marbella, for example, settled the past three-year period with an increase of 0.3% in the profitability indicator, a figure way under average, but well compensated by the increase in the occupation chapter, of 3.4 points.

The descent of Fuengirola. The efficiency of the touristic aristocracy on the coast does not extend all over the territory, not even in the province, where the research detects downfalls. In the case of Torremolinos, with a 3.3% descent of income per room and, most of all, Fuengirola, that Exceltur has added to the rest of “looser” destinations, with a 10.3% descent in profitability and a loss of 4.6 points in general occupation.

The slump of these last aforementioned municipalities is mainly due, according to the breif, to the stagnation of their facilities, the town-planning congestion and the deliberate bet on a massive demand of a less spending capacity, that has been affected by the irruption of the crisis. In general terms, the strength shown by the destinations on the coast, in comparison to the urban ones, a lot more prim in their growth, considerably obeys the industry’s movements over the past few years, characterised by the monetary ups and downs and the recycling of the tourists that come from other latitudes. In this sense, Exceltur mentions the entrance of travellers as a result of the politic instability of the Mediterranean Arabic destinations. It also refers to the moderation of the offer as the core of the increase of income per room.

Malaga’s rise of 2011. Despite the predominance of the holiday destinations, the city tourism accumulates a balance that, in some cases, like Santander and Barcelona, leaves a positive mark. Malaga registers an accumulated descent of 7.4% in the rate per room and of 0.9 points regarding hotel occupation. In the last year, however, the destination has dishevelled up to the point of reaching a spectacular increase, 8.2% in income and 2.8% in employment. The highest increase in the whole country, together with Barcelona. Exceltur links the increase to the proximity of the places with demand of sun and sea and to the strength of the tourism of cruises; after all, Malaga has the advantage of not having to depend exclusively on the affluence of the national public, that has been rather more timid this year as a result of the country’s economic weakness.

The balance of 2011, included in the research, also reflects Benalmadena’s rise, once again, that over the last twelve months increased the profitability of its rooms by 17.7 points, with 2.2% more employment. It also refers to Fuengirola, on the other hand, that concludes the list of the country’s holiday destinations with a decline of 4.8 and 3.4%, respectively.

Exceltur’s barometer insists that the destinations with the best results over the last few years have been the ones who decided to renew part of their offer.

Malaga airport dropped to sixth place in Spain last month

The incessant trickle of loss of passengers that Malaga airport has registered since the beginning of the year has caused a drop of positions in the national ranking and now finds itself in sixth place by volume of passengers at the end of this trimester. The figures provided yesterday by Aena show an amount of 1.9 million travellers that have passed through this terminal until March, which means a 6% decrease compared to the same period last year. This figure comes from a new descent of five points that it experienced during last month.

This evolution has caused that ahead of the Malaga – Costa del Sol airport, the order is Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Gran Canaria and South Tenerife, this last one with a 6% increase of traveller activity. However, regarding operations it’s currently in fifth position in Spain, in front of South Tenerife, with 18.447 flights until March. This figure means a fall of 8.7%.


The whole lot of Andalusian airports add up a total amount of 3.434.049 passengers during the first three months of the year, in other words, almost nine points less than in the same period in 2011. Almost 50.000 operations have been registered over this trimester, that also marks a downward trend in the flights of 6.8%.

The situation of Malaga and the Andalusian terminals is in keeping with the evolution registered nationally. The airports of Aena’s network have lost 5.3% of passengers in the first three months of the year, up to 37.6 million, while the downfall has been steeper in the month of March, by 7%, up to 14.2 million travellers.

The network’s main airport, Madrid-Barajas, registered a significant decrease of 8.8% in March’s traffic, until transporting a total of 3.7 million travellers, while the Barcelona-El Prat airport experienced a slight decrease of 0.5%, transporting 2.6 million travellers. During the past month of March, the Spanish airports operated 156.123 flights, 10.4% less, while the first trimester’s downfall is reduced to 8.9%.

The seasonality is still affecting the air sector, that hopes to improve in April with the launching of the high season program.