Interview: Mayor of Otívar

ALM Mayor Otivar OnLFrancisco Robles, lawyer by profession, has been the Mayor of Otivar since June 2007. The Village has a registered population of 1,100 inhabitants although the real figure is closer to 1,300.

Asked about the main source of income for the village, he replied that agriculture (fruit farming) was the dominant employment sector.

The Mayor also explained that the younger generation were less likely to work the land and consequently leave the village in search of employment. He considered, therefore, that Otívar could develop its latent rural-tourism sector as an alternative source of local employment.

Asked about what Otívar has to offer to tourists, he highlighted its areas of natural beauty, some of which are highly popular for those who enjoy outside activities such as canyoneering (Junta de los Ríos) and hiking, etc. He also pointed out that the municipality also has one of the most popular areas for paragliding enthusiasts on the Costa Tropical.

He went on to mention the Carretera de la Cabra Montés with its spectacular form and views, which many top European car manufacturers use as a location for car adverts.

We then asked him about accommodation for visitors who wish to spend more than just a day in Otívar to take in its many facets.

He recognized that there was a serious deficit in this area. “We need to provide activities such as hiking routes and horseback excursions and perhaps even provide log cabins as accommodation.”

The Mayor added that Otivar was perfectly situated for those who wish to enjoy the nearby coast, especially Almuñécar, or even the Sierra Nevada and Málaga, whilst at the same time enjoying the relaxed ambience of the village with its beautiful surroundings.

He mentioned the Palacete de Cázulas, with its long history (dating back to the 1500’s) as a very singular place to stay but pointed out that they don’t rent out rooms, but rather the whole house for events such as weddings, which he considered an interesting and quality offer.

Sr. Robles concluded on the subject of accommodation that the village needs a small hotel of let’s say 20 rooms normal holiday stays. He also mentioned a green area in the centre of the village called, La Suerte, which could be an excellent location for such a hotel, if the relevant authorities and said landowners could reach an agreement.

Should an investor be interested in such idea, they could count on administrative support from the Town Hall.

We thanked Mayor Robles for his time and asked if he would like to add or emphasis any points. He said that Otívar, despite its modest size, is packed with history, timeless Andalusian narrow streets and surrounded by natural beauty that is perfect for walks and adventure sports.

Emi Fajardo ThumbnailInterview conducted by Emi Fajardo Rodríguez

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