SEVEN thousand bars and restaurants in Spain’s Valencian Community, which includes the Costa Blanca, are set to close for good this year according to a major regional hospitality group.

They say that 60,000 jobs will disappear as customer levels are far lower than during any normal summer.

Manuel Espinar of Conhostur said that the immediate future of the local hospitality industry looks very gloomy.

Espinar predicted: “I believe that one in five bars and restaurants will fold this year as a result of the enforced closures during the State of Alarm and the current fall in foreign tourists”.

He added that 20 per cent of businesses had not even bothered to reopen and the financial losses in the hospitality sector were massive.

“Turnover will be down by €6.7 billion across the whole sector in the Valencian Community”, he commented.

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