2016 seems set to be a make or break year in Marbella in more ways than one
The left wing coalition under Jose Bernal that swept to power in the summer won plaudits for its policy of transparency, including publishing the Mayor’s wages on the web and unveiling a new strategic plan for the town running until 2022.
As the recent general elections proved, however, the political landscape in Spain could be in for a major shift with the rise of parties such as Podemos, so Bernal may have to use all his skills to keep his coalition together and functioning.
The decision to anul the PGOU by central government and return to the 1986 plan has left several large developments and public projects on hold, at a time when estate industry professionals were starting to see signs that the market was beginning to recover.
The news that a muti million euro project is planned by a Far Eastern investment group to the east of the town, however, shows confidence by investors in Marbella as an expanding luxury tourism destination.
Tourism in Marbella will again play a major part in how 2016 shapes up. The beach clubs and nightclubs are already reporting increased bookings for the season, and events such as the Starlite Festival continue to attract big names to the town. Michelin stared restaurants have also now firmly stamped Marbella on the gastronomic map.
Marbella’s media image is also on the up. The town looked superb for the opening stage of the Vuelta de España last year with images beamed across the world. And even TOWIE and Life on Marbs reality TV series put Marbella on TV screens and in magazines and newspapers back in the UK.
It is going to be a fascinating twelve months in Marbella!