BENIDORM has produced a plan to prioritise health safety for domestic tourists during this spring and summer.

The project is a variation on the ‘Benidorm Island’ concept introduced by the Costa Blanca resort last autumn to entice UK and other foreign visitors last autumn.

The plan, despite a lot of interest, floundered due to international and Valencian Community travel restrictions.

The revamp aims to ‘promote the revival of tourism’ according to a submission sent to the Valencian government president, Ximo Puig.

The initiative has been put together by Benidorm council, the resort-based hoteliers group, Hosbec, and the local tourist board, Visit Benidorm.

They feel their original ‘Benidorm Island’ idea can be applied across the Valencian Community and want the resort to be used as a testing ground ahead of a wider roll-out.

Benidorm mayor, Toni Perez, said: “Benidorm should be the pilot area because, if it works here, it can be done in any other destination.”

“There is an inbuilt demand for people from around Spain who want to come to Benidorm because they will feel safer here than in their own cities.”

“We have therefore put the plan together for safe corridors which will be ready when the health situation improves,” added Perez.

The proposal states that domestic tourists will only be allowed to stay in hotels if they are travelling from another region that has a similar infection rate as the Costa Blanca.

‘Hospitality teams’ would be set up to monitor the health and temperatures of guests on a regular basis, including PCR tests if required.

The hotel owners group, Hosbec, say livelihoods of its members depend on bringing back tourism as soon as possible, health conditions permitting.

Most of Benidorm’s hotels closed at the end of October, and only a tiny handful were open over the normally-busy Christmas and New Year period.

Even though the Valencian Community borders remain closed due to virus restrictions as well as some municipalities, Toni Perez believes some trade is possible now.

“Despite the limitations, it doesn´t mean that somebody from Castellon Province cannot come on a trip,” he observed.

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