Andrés Castro, responsible for Rock Rentals, manager of houses and holiday apartments based in Jávea, has worked in several companies in the sector including Interhome. We talked with him about tourism, Jávea, summer and future forecasts in one of the best European holiday destinations.
How is the Summer going?
-Caluroso, every year it is hotter but with much joy and enthusiasm to see how little by little, with our technology and style, we make a dent in the tourist rental sector in the Marina Alta. The team is working very well and customers, both owners and tenants, make it very easy. Summer is getting longer every time: for us, summer starts at Holy Week and ends at the bridge of the Dead, if the weather is good, of course.
How is the season going in terms of occupation?
- It is still early to talk about this because it is part of August and the months of September and October, which for me are the best. We manage apartments, which are even rented in winter, and houses with a pool that are more focused on summer vacation periods. In general, we are having the occupancy levels of other years, in July and August maintaining the same price, but outside these dates, especially May and June we have had to adjust prices. We work with market research and price analysis systems, and what they tell us is that there is a very high supply of accommodation compared to other years and that the demand is not the same. Especially outside of August the foreign market is lower.
Why does this happen?
-We think that the foreign customer has more options, perhaps more economical and if we are not competitive this type of customer book elsewhere. The Spanish tourist is taking advantage of the lowest prices and appears at the last minute, but the foreigner has it easier in other places. I think we have to offer a friendlier face and better quality, with tighter prices. At the local level, the prices of bars, restaurants ... are rising, but the service is the same. This makes the cost of holidays in Jávea increase, without improving services.
What kind of services need improvement?
-I think it's a matter of mentality and planning, if we think we have to make the city beautiful just for August we are wrong: Javea has to be clean all year. A simple example: the street lamps cannot be turned on on August 1 and turn off the August 31. There are areas of Javea that are only cleaned in August, if they are cleaned.
What impact will Brexit have for tourism on the Costa Blanca?
-I really do not know, what is clear is that the English who live here are going to change their lives: some will leave and sell their house, although most do not think they do. But Brexit's biggest problem is the drop in the pound, which has caused many British tourists to ask us for discounts. Spain no longer seems so cheap. But I am positive, I think that Spain is a very good market for the British, they will continue to come but with a lower purchasing power, and we must adapt.
How do you own a vacation home in this area?
-There is a national owner who has as second residence Jávea, comes in Holy Week, some bridge and August. Usually acquires homes in urbanizations with good pools and near the Arenal. The foreign owner comes in spring and autumn, escapes the heat and buys a house with a pool. We manage their properties, we look for tenants for the periods in which they do not occupy them and take care of their home when they are not. We prepare everything when they arrive and make profitable the empty periods.
And how will the 2020 be?
- Hotter, sure, hahahahahaha! I am positive, I think that at the local level we have to be aware to improve the maintenance of the city, to have Javea cleaner, and above all, to think that such a high price policy will be difficult to maintain, quality and price have to go from hand. We must take care of the aesthetics of an elegant and different Jávea: it is a beautiful destination, with a spectacular atmosphere and sky. You can rent an apartment by the sea, take a surf paddle board or rent a jet ski and then take a paella watching the sunset. Few places have as much charm as Jávea, we just have to make it beautiful and enjoy thinking about the future.