The Caminito del Rey Path has been visited by a million of visitors since it was opened three years ago
Elías Bendodo underlines that there was an economic value estimated at € 100 million
The County Council has finished building the Visitor Centre, which is to be opened before summer.
One million visits to the path have been registered until now, three years after the its refurbishment. This was said by County Council President Elías Bendodo, who made a balance of what this beauty spot means for the province and the surrounding towns, whose economy and tourism was stimulated thanks to this site.
The County Council of Málaga President was in a company of Mayor of Ardales María del Mar González, José Sánchez, the mayor of Álora, and Mayor of Campillos Francisco Guerrero. Mr Bendodo stressed that the number of visitors for the last three years shows that the path was interesting not only for people from this country but also for foreigners.
Up to now, the 65% of people who have walked along the trail are foreigners, which tells us how this tourist attraction is successful abroad. Actually, 84 people from different nationalities visited the natural beauty spot last year.
The most numerous are tourists from the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and France. The number of visitors from the USA, Australia, New Zealand or South America and Africa stand out as well. Considering this, Mr Bendodo affirmed that the path had a worldwide success that we should all be proud of.
At the same time, the website caminitodelrey.info has been visited six million times by 3.5 million users, which shows a great interest for this nature site.
Economic Impact and New Jobs
The County Council of Málaga President has stressed that there has been an economic value estimated at € 100 million since the path was reopened, which helped creating 400 new jobs.
Moreover, he also presented some important data regarding the economic growth of the surrounding towns as 20% of visitors are tourists that spend a night in the area.
This is why there area almost 350 places around it that can provide 5000 people with accommodation. Since the path was reopened in 2015, the number of establishments that provide accommodation registered an increase of 75%, while in the case of the number of accommodation bed places it was 20%.
Moreover, total expenditure in 2017 of tourists who spend night in the surrounding and those who came to an outing was round 20 million euros. Mr Bendodo said: 'All this data show how big the attraction El Caminito del Rey is.' Actually, on 16 April, 100,000 new tickets will be put up for sale for the summer period, between June and September, when a lot of tourists are keen o come to the path.
County Council President Bendodo believes that the cooperation between the County Council of Málaga, surrounding Town Councils, the regional Andalusian Government and the Spanish Government were key to the path's success.
Likewise, he stressed the importance of Hermanos Campano Company which included some improvements on the path and developed different actions which improved this project.
Ardales Mayor María del Mar González has expressed her satisfaction with the impact that El Caminito del Rey Path had on the tourist establishments and bars and restaurants. She also said that, due to the Cave in Ardales, Bobastro Ruins, two museums and the church, the number of visitors was doubled. It was said as well that the next challenge would be the opening of the Visitor Reception Centre.
Álora mayor José Sánchez stressed that the number of beds went from 6000 to 1200, and the average occupancy rate rose to 95% in the last few months, or even to 100% during some weekends. He also said that this was the best moment to support and continue investing in tourist establishments and projects.
He also claimed that Álora was going to turn into a tourist town, and added that it was invested in the castle and its surroundings in order to make the town sightseeing more attractive.
Camplilos Mayor Francisco Guerrero also explained that it is very important for Campillos to become part of the Caminito del Rey project, and that this Town Council is trying hard to make the town more interesting for tourists who come to the path. As far as that is concerned, he said that all the nature sites were being signposted.
Elías Bendodo emphasized that the Count Council of Málaga was working on the continuous improvement of the experience that visitors can have along the path. Regarding this, the County Council President explained that they are currently furnishing the Visitor Centre, and making gardens around it so it could be open before summer.
Moreover, the new construction contract for the roundabout at the access to the Visitor Centre is going to be awarded very soon. This roundabout is necessary to arrange the traffic and access to this spot, especially in the case of coaches. The price of the construction contract in the tender was €150,000, and is funded by FEDER, through the European project Estrategia DUSI Caminito del Rey.