We are officially past the year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and it’s been a journey to say the least.
In Spain we started with three months of strict lockdown followed ever since with varying degrees of rules and regulations. From travel restrictions and curfews to obligatory face masks and constant hand sanitation, Spain has done it’s best to keep us all safe and healthy.
I think we’ve all struggled in some way on another over this past year whether it be financially, mentally, dealing with the loss of loved ones or watching first hand as local small businesses close down.
So, how has Malaga changed over the past year?
Travel restrictions have forced people to spend money locally meaning that some local suppliers have thrived during these times. We have noticed a pride in supporting local businesses grow within the community and it’s been wonderful to see.
On the other hand, the industry that has perhaps suffered the most is hospitality. Bars and restaurants continue to do their best to adapt to the changing curfews however the lack of consistency in opening times and capacity regulations has made it difficult for some businesses to survive.
On the tourism front, think about this: in 2019, 18,500,000 people flew into Malaga airport. By the end of 2020, this figure was down by 72%. There are many towns on the coast that depend pretty much solely on tourism for their yearly income. Things aren’t quite back to normal, however we think that with the influx of vaccines, borders will begin to open up and Spain can get back on it’s feet.
It wouldn’t be a Grapevine Lifestyle post without touching a little bit on the local property market. It’s a question we get asked on a daily basis. To be honest, the market here in Inland Malaga is still moving. We have seen an increase in the national market, especially families looking to move inland from the coast in order to to gain more outside space whether that be in a townhouse, apartment or country property.
We have noticed that the pandemic hasn’t put people of the idea of travel or moving, in fact, we have a list of clients desperate to come over and relocate here. People have learnt over this past year, for better or for worse, that life is fleeting and there is no time like the present to make positive changes.
The majority of us move to Spain for the lifestyle change and I think, as expats, we have learnt not to take this wonderful place for granted. During these times, we have missed all those little things that Malaga had always given us but we hadn’t appreciated.
How has the pandemic changed things in your local area? We would love to hear from you!