The travel sector has been through a very unexpected rollercoaster recently. Yet,  booking levels for this summer are already recovering. Spain is the number one destination in terms of online searches and reservations and it looks to be bouncing back. Within this, however, there is a growing trend towards specialisation.


In 2012, a small travel agency was born in the heart of Marbella. It would become one of the most outstanding specialists in luxury made-to-measure excursions.  Also, the only one in Andalucía to belong to the luxury travel association, Traveller Made. The agency is in the iconic blue house near the Copper Tower, where the Golden Mile and Ricardo Soriano meet.

The founders of CRIS&KIM are Cristina de Leyva and Pepequin de Orbaneja. They have a passion for adventure and years of experience. As a result, they succeed in creating unforgettable experiences for their clients.

“We founded this boutique agency because we wanted to share our passion for travel and bring back a sense of adventure and authenticity,” says Cristina de Leyva. Intensive travel stemmed from a childhood pouring over maps. And now they desire to share the best places and moments with others. “In an age of mass-market packages and resorts, we create personal itineraries that are made to measure” What’s more, the destinations are more unique and unspoiled by large-scale tourism, and that makes all the difference.”

An Increasingly Diversified Market

As experts in specialist travel as well as people who have grown up on the Coast, Cristina and Pepequin know the market well. They also have a clear idea of where it is going says Pepequin. “For some time now, the industry has been diversifying into increasingly specialist sectors. The days when tourism in this region was about hotels, apart-hotels and summer ‘bucket and spade’ holidays are gone. Family beach holidays are perhaps still the largest individual segment of the market. However, they’re now one of many sub-sectors. These include cultural, gastronomic, adventure, nature, convention, sports, and health tourism.”

The Costa del Sol is a popular place to come and relax and/or enjoy a lively summer scene. However, the appeal soon stretches beyond our coastline to also include cultural gems. Málaga, Granada, Córdoba, Seville, Jerez de la Frontera and Cádiz. Also natural beauty spots such as the Serranía de Ronda, the lakes of Álora and Fuente de Piedra. The Doñana nature reserve and the Sierra Nevada are also very special.

“Factor in this kind of tourism and we begin to move away from the classic market of resort hotels and summer rental accommodation.”  It opens up a whole new segment of the market that has been further bolstered by the recent Covid-19 crisis.

Discovering New Delights in Andalucía

Right now, Andalucía is the most sought-after region in tourism around the world, as seen in online searches and bookings. While the Coast draws most of the attention, a growing portion is also going to city and country destinations. “People have been focusing more and more on specialist interests such as hiking, eco-tourism, culture, shopping or dining in recent years.”

“Since the coronavirus situation hit there has also been a desire to stay away from crowded places. Being surrounded by space and nature is a preference. People still want to relax and enjoy leisure amenities, but they are looking for spacious accommodation. They are also increasingly open to country options in beautiful parts of Andalucía that remain largely undiscovered.”

CRIS&KIM help travellers explore new experiences both within Spain and internationally. From Andalucía to Argentina, Cristina ensures the journey of a lifetime. “This is what it’s all about. Modern life makes quality time and relaxation rare.  When families and friends get together they want special experiences and memories.” According to her, travel should be a journey of sensory exploration.

This is exactly what people want these days as they deviate from the classic summer holiday experience. “People are following their interests, the excitement of exploring new things.  Key is the spirit of exploration of new and inspiring sights and experiences. This is the essence of sensory magic.”

Local and Exotic Flavours

Andalucia With Me is the destination management company through which CRIS&KIM offers the opportunity to see Andalucía as you never have before. “To do this, we very often stray away from hotels and more publically accessible experiences. We venture into the realm of private country estates, historic properties and rural destinations. The sensation is an immersion into the nature, culture, gastronomy and people of the region. You may have thought you knew, but you explore with fresh eyes,” says Pepequin.

Nominated by Traveller Made for their work in lifting the veil off the hidden treasures of Andalucía. Selected from 500 businesses around the world as one of six global nominees. Their category is for the most committed and kind business owner, as voted for by clients.

CRIS&KIM’s Personal Voyage of Exploration

“People want to be positively surprised, and this is what we work hard to do. Today’s traveller is made up of many different subgroups. We cater specifically to the growing number of tourists who want to relive the classic days of travel, not mass tourism. And, as we aren’t involved in large-scale travel we always work hard to find locations that are peaceful and off the beaten track.  We avoid densely populated zones,” says Cristina.

“Even when people visit major destinations such as Málaga and Marbella, they want to have a sense that they own the experience.  So while many still love classic holidays on the Costa del Sol they’re increasingly willing to try something different. They go off the usual itinerary a little to include more adventurous activities and locations. As long as our region is able to provide such experiences tourism in Andalucía and on the Costa del Sol will continue to prosper.”

Avda. Canovas del Castillo, 1, Marbella. Tel: (+ 34) 952 859 113.


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