OVERNIGHT stays in Costa Blanca hotels fell by 50 per cent in September compared to a year earlier, according to figures from the Provincial Association of Hotels of Alicante (APHA).

The drop was mainly caused by a big reduction in foreign visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions like the UK 14-day quarantine.

APHA put the September occupancy rates at just 37.1 per cent, which in itself was a 20 per cent fall on the already low August returns.

The figures were entirely predictable as hotel stays collapsed at the end of August with the end of the domestic tourist season.

September’s visitors came largely from within the Valencian Community(30.4 per cent) and the Madrid region(27 per cent), with Catalunya a distant third(eight point five per cent).

Domestic tourists helped to propel the Javea area on the northern Costa Blanca to an impressive near-normal figure of 83.3 per cent occupancy of its hotels.

Second was Playa de San Juan in Alicante at 60.6 per cent followed by Guardamar on 44 per cent.

The worst figures were Alicante City at 33 per cent and the Orihuela Costa and Algorfa areas at 36.3 per cent, both of which are reliant on foreign guests.

The APAH report said that 65.2 per cent of overnight occupancies across the Costa Blanca were domestic visitors.

Among the remaining 34.8 per cent that made up international travellers, France(26.5 per cent) and the UK(17.9 per cent) were the only countries to get double-digit percentages for overnight stays.

Germany came third on the list on four point four per cent.

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