THE Benidorm-based Hosbec hotel association says there’s still a long way to go before hotel tourism on the Costa Blanca fully recovers from the effects of the COVID pandemic.

A Hosbec report predicts that 2022 will be another tough year for the hotel trade with ‘significant difficulties’ ahead.

It also criticised Valencian government plans to introduce a tourist tax on overnight stays which could ‘destroy a sector that has suffered so much during the pandemic’.

Looking back at last year, Hosbec said that only August’s occupancy figures among its member hotels came close to pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

Last August in Benidorm, 36,000 bookings out of a maximum 44,000 were taken- boosted by big domestic demand as travel restrictions kept many UK tourists away.

Benidorm’s average occupancy for 2021 was 61.3% compared to 84.2% achieved in 2019.

The last week of 2021 achieved a 53.1% occupancy rate of those hotels that were open compared to forecasts of up to 80% before the Omicron COVID variant surfaced.

A number of Benidorm hotels closed down over the Christmas and New Year period due to cancellations from British customers and tour companies.

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