SUMMER holiday bookings in the Costa Blanca and the Valencian Community were up to 30% higher than in 2020, according to Valencia’s general director of tourism.

Herick Campos said early predictions were easily surpassed.

He also praised the region promoting itself as a ‘safe destination’ in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

“Tourist occupancy this summer is between 20 to 30% more than last year with higher numbers than had been hoped for,” observed Campos.

“Safety has been a fundamental element in achieving these results,” he added.

Despite big falls in international visitors, especially from the UK, hotel associations reported some areas as notching up higher booking levels than in the last pre-pandemic August of 2019.

The major market tapped has been domestic tourism.

The concern is that with end of Spain’s traditional summer holiday period, numbers will see a very sharp fall from September with relatively few foreign arrivals.

Campos also paid tribute to the regional 2021 Safe Beaches programme which has seen over a thousand beach assistants employed to maintain COVID-19 safety rules.

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