From April 2016 walking the Caminito del Rey will have a charge between 7 and 10 euros. The final price has not been decided yet, nor the company that will eventually take over the running of the walkway. It has been decided that the “business” of the Caminito del Rey will be put out to tender and presumably this process has already been started by the council of Malaga. The councils of Alora and Ardales are in agreement to this but the opposition parties PSOE, IU Ciudadanos and Malaga Ahora abstained in the vote at the meeting presumably because they disagree with this desicion.
Doing some rough mathematics, if the Caminito is open 300 days of the year and there is a charge of 8 euros per person AND there are 900 people per day walking the Caminito this will generate just over 2 million euros per year so on paper this does look like a viable business for the right investor… The facts however are a little different. The Caminito closed 20 times this year due to weather conditions (and is closed on Mondays.) Also, although the reservations were full online when I visited three times this year, the numbers of people actually waiting at the entrance did not reflect the statistics on the online reservation system. The last time there were only 10 people waiting with me when there should have been 50. Once a charge is levied this will also deter some people especially the ones who have walked already during its free status.
More realistically, I think, we are looking at being open 250 days per year and a maximum of 300 people per day being charged 8 Euros. This would bring in around 600,000 euros. The Council of Malaga has already stated previously that the Caminito del Rey costs in excess of 500, 000 Euros per year to run so they might actually have some trouble finding an investor that has an interest in taking over the running of the Caminito.
In a way its a case of the Baby Einstein turning into a monster…. Time will tell.