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A sunny outlook for Andalusia in 2015

The World Travel Market in London, which recently closed its 2014 session the first week of November, is always a key venue for tourist boards and industry insiders to reflect on the outgoing year and look forward to the next. This year, few were more optimistic than the delegation from Andalusia, with a banner year closing and many positive notes on the horizon. Incoming passenger numbers to Andalusia were up by some 10% in 2014 with no sign of a slowdown in sight. One bit of good news from British Airways emerging from the WTM is that they are to maintain the direct route from Heathrow to Malaga throughout the winter, which in previous years only ran from spring through the high season. As well as supporting the direct influx of British tourists this will make international connections through Heathrow easier. Andalusia’s Costa del Sol has long been known as a golfer’s paradise, and another announcement from the International Association of Golf Tour Operators is set to renew this image and bring yet more visitors and business to the area. The association has scheduled its largest tournament event of 2015 for the Costa del Sol, contributing to a projected increase in golf tourism in the region of 15% and bringing buyers and vendors together at more than 3,000 meetings. Check with your own golf tour operator now and get in on the action! Golf in Andalucia If hiking is more your game there is also promising news for Andalusia in 2015: the “Gran Senda” route with 650 kilometres of trails around Malaga Province opened earlier this year and is gaining in popularity, as is the “Senda Litoral” costal route for walkers and cyclists running from Manilva to Nerja. The most exciting news, however, is the planned reopening of the “Caminito del Rey” in January, 2015. This iconic and scenic route passes along the sheer walls of the El Chorro gorge near Malaga and has been closed for many years due to safety concerns. Together, these new routes are expected to draw 2.5 million tourists next year according to newspaper, El Sur. Beyond this, the city of Malaga already has three new museums planned for a 2015 launch to the delight of cultural enthusiasts: a new Fine Arts museum, the Russian museum, and a satellite museum from the Centre Pompidou based in Paris. There has been much ado about the emerging fine food scene in Andalusia of late as well, so between culture and cuisine, hiking , nature and golf, there’ a lot to draw the curious tourist to the region in 2015. Don’t forget about the best climate in Europe to boot! What will bring you to Andalusia this year? Alan Hazel is Owner and Director of Cortijo El Carligto. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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