Beach-loving expats in Spain to be monitored by robotic drones

Published:  26 May at 6 PM
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As Spain gets closer to opening up to international tourism, high-tech systems and volunteer beach armies preventing overcrowding are all being introduced.

When the pandemic began spreading its tentacles across the world, many publications gave voice to peoples’ fears that life would never be the same again. Given the latest methods proposed by Spain in order to prevent a second wave of devastating infection, it seems the sensationalist arm of the media may have been right after all.

For starters, Marbella and Benalmadena as well as Velez Malaga and Fuengirola are planning on using tech to prevent beach overcrowding, thus allowing the country to open its door to tourism whilst other popular world destinations’ governments are still dragging their feet. Marbella’s examples of the use of overhead drones to control the masses as well as an app telling would-be sunbathers the beach is now full are now being followed by Benalmadena and Malaga. A Fuengirola firm is now testing its own tech-based solution to a lack of social distancing – an AI sensor system giving information to tourists and residents as to which beaches are too crowded to allow in any more sun-worshippers.

For those unhappy about tech as the answer to all problems, Rincoin de la Victoria is using the traditional answer involving thousands of real, human lifeguards being used as beach monitors watching out for overcrowding. Across the Costa del Sol, beaches will be required to allow only 50 per cent occupancy, closing areas which are not in compliance in order to reduce the chance of a second coronavirus wave. In the old, pre-pandemic days, holidaymakers and their children whose nearest beaches were adjacent to airport runways had fun watching the planes take off and land. Unfortunately, for many kids, robotic drones aren’t half as exciting as the latest fully laden short-haul airplanes as regards the popular game of pilot-spotting. In addition, has anyone canvassed the seagulls for their opinions?
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