Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes every fortnight for Huddersfield Hub.

Well, it’s finally arrived – the summer tourist boom! Most hospitality outlets and hotels reported a super Easter with bookings coming thick and fast.

Hopes are high now for some bumper months ahead especially since the reservoirs are overflowing and supermarkets are well stocked! However, finding a parking spot is now an endless search at times in the busy towns on the coast.

Also there has been a significant surge in the number of Brits seeking the Golden Visa, allowing them residency in Spain – assuming they are prepared to spend €500,000 cash on a property and are financially sound.

There are reports of a shortage of all levels of properties on the market, as prices have risen 6.4%.

Coincidentally, the number of British nationals who have come to live in Spain has risen by a staggering 176% – a good share of them being Spanish residency holders.

The official data published by the airport operator Aena has said that Malaga Airport has made the best recovery in Spain.

A floating tourism boost for the Costa

The world’s largest cruise liner was due to arrive from Fort Lauderdale carrying 7,000 passengers which is sure to bring in much needed euros to the Costa. Taxis and buses will be transporting thousands to the white villages not far from the port, or to tour the historic, bustling capital city centre of Malaga.

We hear that the passenger chaos in departure and security areas is beginning to ease a little at Manchester Airport. Let’s hope so, as the numbers seeking a sunny break are increasing daily despite forecasts of the dreadful muddy rain coupled with storms. As yet there are no signs of it!

Here, UK passengers must go through new passport controls at airports as they are not from the EU causing lengthy queues at some airports.

The Spanish government is being urged to follow Portugal and return to ‘normal’, as this time-consuming and irritating queuing is likely to stop tourists coming in. We saw nothing of the controls on our recent return at Malaga.

Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the city in one of its provinces, there is a huge debate ongoing about a vast solar panel ‘mega park’ which will cover 10,000 hectares of the beautiful open countryside of Canete La Real.

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE

Councils want the project to be regulated before they find themselves buried in solar panels. With the problems caused by the Russians threatening disruption in energy supplies – where would you vote?

Border checks at the Gibraltar border have been stepped up for people on foot entering from Spain. This new ruling applies to anyone who does not hold a Gib residence card and is not from an EU country unless you have a pre booked accommodation or a god reason for crossing the border.

This does not apply to British nationals with a Spanish residence card. Thanks Brexit! Lots of tourists are turning up but being turned away.

A sad note to conclude. A former Huddersfield resident Alan Dean, a dear friend of many here on the Costa del Sol where he has lived for the past 20 years, passed away peacefully in hospital last week.

For Elaine and I, Alan gave us invaluable help in rebuilding a house. That’s him pictured with us above. A real character, well known in his home town of Huddersfield. RIP Al.

I’ll be writing every fortnight from now on so see you back here in two weeks!