Malaga is to invest billions in a series of projects to boost tourism to the city and surrounding areas.


A new terminal will be added to Pablo Picasso airport in 2009 and a new runway added in 2010, which will double the airport’s capacity to 20 million passengers.


Angela Griffin, joint managing director of Private Corporate Collection, which markets Malaga in the UK, told senior industry figures at World Travel Market on Tuesday: “This expansion will open up tremendous opportunity to everyone in the travel industry.”


The Waterfront will see significant development, with 60 new businesses and a new harbour terminal, allowing cruiselines to use Malaga as a base. Royal Caribbean has already signed up.


This area will also be the site of a new opera house in 2011.


Meanwhile, the city is expecting the addition of 2,000 hotel beds in the next two years, including the renovation of the five-star Palacio Mirimar.


There will be eight new museums, including an automobile musuem and the Thyssen museum in the city centre. The Picasso Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art will each be extended.


There has already been heavy investment in a new Ave Train Link connecting with Cordoba, Seville and Madrid. Now plans are under way for a City Metro to help ease congestion in the centre of the town.


Kinver Travel Centre owner Sue Foxall, who was at the presentation, said: “Malaga has so much to offer and is only just over two hours away. It is a strong contender for the city break market.”


* More WTM 2008 coverage at travelweekly.co.uk/wtm2008