WTM 2017: Magaluf regeneration plan on track, says tourism bosses

WTM 2017: Magaluf regeneration plan on track, says tourism bosses

A five-year plan to transform the Spanish resort of Magaluf is starting to reap its rewards after two years, according to tourism chiefs.

Already the resort is attracting more families and couples and becoming less reliant on the youth market, according to Melia Hotels International chief real estate officer Mark Hoddinott and Calvia mayor Alfonso Rodriguez.

Traditionally the resort has been associated with the British youth market but a crackdown on pub crawls in 2014 banned drinking in the street between 10pm and 8am.

A strategic regeneration plan was announced in 2015 by a consortium of hotel and leisure companies, the Balearic government and Calvia Town Hall to shed the resort of its notorious image for drunken behaviour.

It included plans to extend the season from five to six months to eight to nine months a year, from March until November, and attract holidaymakers for other types of tourism such as sports-related breaks.

Rodriguez said: “Youth tourism has dropped and we are where we want to be after two years. Overall volumes of tourists are also increasing because we have been working on attracting more people in the shoulder season.”

Part of the plan has been to upgrade hotels to four and five star, change the mix of hotel clients and nationalities, and alter their sales distribution models.

Hoddinott said: “We are driving more families at the top-end to Calvia Beach hotel and getting more MICE business. There is far less reliance on the Brits. The dependence on any one market is no greater than 30%. Previously, we depended on the Brits for 75% of our guests in Magaluf.”

He added that business generated by traditional tour operators had reduced from 80% to 20%-25% of sales, with more business coming from online travel agencies, bed banks or the hotel’s own website.

Hoddinott said the “final piece in the puzzle” in terms of regeneration for Melia Hotels International would be a 45 million euro resort, comprising three hotels, underground parking, and an upmarket shopping complex called The Momentum Plaza, located by the beach in Magaluf. It is due to open next May.

He said: “We are rebuilding a hotel that has been shut for nine years. We have partially demolished it and rebuilt it with 5,000 square metres of shopping space open to the public.”

The complex will include a 270-room hotel with a suspended glass swimming pool above one of the walkways. Around 40% of the shops have already been let, while the town hall is investing in improvements to roads to the beach around the complex.

Travel Weekly coverage of World Travel Market

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