Malaga leads Spain in language tourism
Language tourism has become an ever more active sector on the Costa del Sol and particularly in Malaga capital. According to Tourist Board figures it has experienced very significant growth in the province of Malaga in recent years. A Ciedes Foundation study on language tourism shows that this sector’s economic impact upon the province of Malaga comes to 251 million euro.
A fact to keep in mind is that since 2004 Malaga - Costa del Sol has ranked as the foremost destination in Spain for foreign students of Spanish, outdoing such traditional destinations as Salamanca—formerly the leader in this market—and Madrid.
Malaga’s leading role as a language destination, in terms both of the number of students and of schools, was made clear at the tenth anniversary event of the Federation of Schools of Spanish as a Foreign Language (FEDELE) that was held last year in Madrid.
There are 32 schools for Spanish for foreigners in the province of Malaga. There are sixteen in the capital and two of these are public. It should also be noted that this is a long tradition in the city of Malaga as the first classes for foreigners began back in 1947. There are also seventeen centres in the province that are accredited by institutions and entities such as the Cervantes Institute and the University of Alcalá de Henares.
According to the profile the average foreign student of Spanish in the province is a woman between the age of eighteen and 24. She is most likely German as 22.6% of students come from that country, followed by France at 12.3% and the Scandinavian countries at 9.7%. 20.5% are skilled workers and 19.1% are university students or student entrepreneurs.
On average they stay 58.8 days in our province, during which time they spend an average of 49 euro per day. 70% of those surveyed choose to live in the Malaga capital. 30% choose to live with a family, followed by 24% who stay in an apartment with a private room.
The Provincial Tourist Board is convinced that the language tourism offer is indispensable in attracting tourists and thus realises the need to continue to promote it as it is an enormously important economic activity, mainly because of the services connected to it. This is a category of tourists with a long average stay and who spend more than the traditional tourist. Furthermore, this class of tourism is distributed over the entire year, with its seasonal nature being much less pronounced than that of the Spanish tourism sector.