FIGURES for last year’s overnight hotel stays in Benidorm showed occupancy rates well down on the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

The study compiled by the Hosbec hoteliers association says occupancy for 2021 stood at 61.3%, a fall of 22.9% on 2019 numbers.

2021 recorded a million visitors, a drop of 54.3%.on totals two years earlier.

The biggest factor was a 73.1% reduction in foreign tourists compared to 2019.

The annual Big Data Hosbec study reports that an average of 76 Benidorm hotels remained open to the public from January to December last year, which is 38.3% less than in 2019 and a reduction in available hotel beds of 43.5%.

The decrease in available accommodation impacted on employment, which fell by 47.2%.

A Hosbec statement said: “No destination is free from bad figures but the tourism disaster due to COVID-19 is more evident on the Costa Blanca and Benidorm.“

“The economic results show that there is still a long way to go to reach 2019 levels in both average price and income,” it added.

Across the whole of the Valencian Community, the figures were not quite as bad, but Hosbec claims that 30% of hotels never bothered to open last year, leading to almost 40% of jobs in the sector being lost.

Regional hotels lost 48% of overnight stays compared to 2019, with overseas guests down by 70%.

Annual revenue per room dropped by 40% over two years.

The average hotel occupancy of Castellon Province was 39.9%, a drop of 12.9% over two years, while Valencia Province stood at 48%, 20.6% lower than in 2019.

The Costa Blanca as a whole, including Benidorm, experienced a drop in activity of 55.1%, since 2019.

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