BEACH bars on part of the Mar Menor are demanding lower rents and delayed payments due to low tourist numbers.
The lagoon area, which has suffered from nitrate pollution, has not been busy with tourists with bathers looking elsewhere to have a dip.
The Mar Menor has a number of councils in its area, with the southern end coming under Cartagena.
Local hospitality association, Hostecar, has asked Cartagena city council to review its rental fees for bars since they are ‘choking their survival’.
Hostecar argues that beach bar contract fees were set when the lagoon was in a better state.
It also wants the council to stop charging ahead of time with business owners getting demands for September rentals in June.
Hostecar president, Juan Jose Lopez, said: “Premises are being forced to cut opening times where an influx of visitors is non-existent.”
“Profitability is falling because nobody is coming to bathe.”
Many bars in the Cartagena area of the lagoon is said to be opening only in the evening or afternoon.
“It is is unacceptable that the council is persecuting the beach bars, requiring them to pay September fees, without taking into account the complicated situation that they are currently experiencing,” said Jose Lopez.
Cartagena council says that fees and conditions are no different compared to previous years, with the exception of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They referred to help given to the hospitality industry in the last two years.
The council also mentioned that the joint rate charged between them and the coastal authority has a new element this year where beach bars are only levied on the hours they are open.
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