The Nerja Caves Foundation is undertaking a number of measures to halt the decline in visitor numbers to the Caves, something which should have been done a long time ago according to the new manager of the Nerja Caves Foundation, Ángel Ruiz.
In 2001, a total of 520,000 people visited the caves, but last year the figure had dropped to 370,000. Ángel Ruiz believes that it is a basic and fundamental necessity to reverse this negative trend and that action should have been taken much earlier.
For the first time, and quite unbelievably really, the budget will include an amount for promotion and communication activities.
In addition to promoting the Nerja Caves, improvements have also been made to the whole caving experience, with guided tours for small groups of the upper galleries. The upper galleries are not currently open to the general public. An agreement has been made with a company whereby visits to the upper galleries will be combined with other multi-adventure activities outside the caves.
Touch screens and audio guides are being installed to provide more information for visitors and agreements with tour operators and travel agents are being reviewed as many of these have become obsolete or have lapsed.
More promotion via internet and social networks is being planned and tickets will be available online, although this is seen as more of a long term benefit.
The 2012 Nerja Caves budget has been set at €3,200,000, a reduction of €810,000 with reviews across the board except in the areas of research and conservation.