€50 million will be the minimal financial cost of the latest closure of Costa Blanca hospitality businesses, according to a leading Benidorm hotel association.

Hosbec general secretary, Nuria Montes said: “Taking everything into account with bars and restaurants plus the knock-on effects on hotels, we estimate that €50 million will be lost to the local economy.”

“The hotels may be open, but the new measures don’t bode well for our businesses,” Montes added.

Bars and restaurants will be closed from tomorrow(January 21) by order of the Valencian government, as it tries to stem record COVID-19 infection figures and deaths.

The measure will last for at least a fortnight.

Alicante-based association, Aphea, and its president, Mar Valera said: “We have calculated that around 40,000 people will have to go onto the ERTE furlough scheme in Alicante Province.”

“People are fuming over the unsustainable position they are in, especially as we doubt anything will change after 14 days.”

The hospitality sector went to 5.00 pm closing on January 7, with claims that it immediately cost businesses 80% of their normal revenue.

Alicante Restaurant Association president, Cesar Anca, said: “The closures will have a very negative impact for our sector as once again we are being unfairly pointed to for causing a rise in coronavirus infections.”

The Alicante Association of Leisure Venues president, Javier Galdeano, described the new measures as a ‘humiliation’.

All of the hospitality associations were uniform in saying that many of their members would not survive the latest enforced closure.

A series of protests are planned including a mock funeral this Saturday(January 23) in front of Elda Town Hall, by hospitality businesses from Elda and Petrer.

The Hostelria Valle de Elda group said: “This closure is the death nail for thousands of business owners, workers, and the self-employed in the nightlife and hospitality sector.”

“Without the hospitality industry, Elda and Petrer will die,” they added.

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