4 Oct, 2021 @ 11:47
1 min read

EXPLAINER: Why Benidorm and Costa Blanca hotels don’t want to rely on UK tourists coming to Spain

Fears over new tourist tax 'driving away' British tourists from Spain's Costa Blanca, despite Alicante and Benidorm councils refusing to charge it
Tourists wearing face covering walk by the Levante beach of Benidorm, a seaside resort on the eastern coast of Spain, where the tourism industry has been hit hard by the latest 14-day quarantine requirement by the British government for all tourists that travel from Spain because of its high levels of COVID-19 cases. Picture date: Thursday July 30, 2020.

BENIDORM and Costa Blanca hoteliers want to keep last summer’s domestic booking boost going rather than relying on traditional foreign visitors from countries like the UK.

COVID travel restrictions slashed British reservations over the summer but some parts of the Costa Blanca managed to see hotel bookings rise above 2019 levels thanks to the domestic market.

The regional hotel association, Hosbec, plans to launch a publicity campaign to keep domestic visitors returning to the Costa Blanca.

Hosbec president, Toni Mayor, said: “We have the challenge of building loyalty which we will promote in next year’s campaigns which will remind people of the enjoyment they had coming on holiday here.”

“People who did not know the Valencian coast have come, many because they have not been able to leave the country like on a cruise and their experience has been positive which we will refer to,“ added Mayor.

Mayor admitted that with fuller inter-country mobility, it would be ‘logical’ that some people in Spain would choose to go abroad for a holiday.

Benidorm’s hotels suffered the most over the high summer season due to a strong reliance on British visitors, with some premises not even bothering to reopen.

Some of the shortfall was made up by increased home demand as well as visitors from EU countries that did not have the same travel restrictions as the UK.

Valencian travel chiefs said that there were lessons to be learnt, one of which was not to place so much of an onus on British visitors to maintain high tourist numbers.

Regional tourism secretary, Frances Colomer, commented that it was time for the Valencian Community to focus on ‘monocultural’ tourism and to stop being so dependent on UK tourists.

The area is now being actively promoted in the United States and Asia, as well as across Europe.


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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