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.

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