The tourism capital of the Costa Blanca, Benidorm, is doing a roaring trade as the holiday season starts in earnest.
When the pandemic hit two years ago, the bars and hotels were closed, some for good. Now, since the Easter holidays, many businesses have reopened as well as new venues starting up.
The main foreign holidaymakers, including long-stay tourists, are the British who make up more than 41% of the international market. Thanks to their eagerness to return, 90% of hotels were open in May compared to around 50% in March.
It is not just the British quarter in Rincón de Loix which is benefitting from the tourists flying into Benidorm. Businesses by Levante beach and the city centre are also reporting great trade. But the British are among the bigger spenders. They spend about €80 a day on food and drink while Spanish tourists spend almost half as much as the British - around €40-€50 a day.
Many bars and restaurants are changing their habits to accommodate the higher-spending tourists from the UK. The British have lunch and dinner much earlier than the Spanish and many restaurants are serving food at times to suit these overseas visitors.
Business is so good that some parts of the hospitality trade are having problems employing enough staff.
Benidorm is not just receiving many tourists coming for long weekends or their annual two-week holiday. The city also has a niche market in long-stay tourists.
The arrival of Brexit meant these long-stay British tourists could only stay 90 days in a row in Spain. But special visas are being processed to allow them to stay longer, according to Karen Maling Cowles of Benidorm’s British Business Association in an article in Información newspaper. These tourists are valuable to the city’s economy because they have a better quality of life and greater purchasing power.
Article by Sarah Farrell - www.sarahswritestuff.com