Story By: Amanda Morales, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
The tourist capital of Costa Blanca, the city of Benidorm, foresees the closure of more than 120 hotels in the city in September because of the coronavirus.
The tourist sector of the city of Benidorm, in the province of Alicante which is in the southeast of the Autonomous Community of Valencia, is the main economic engine of the city.
But despite the dire impact, it’s likely to have on the local economy, they now fear it’s almost inevitable to shut down because of the pandemic.
They say that the fact the majority of European countries are advising people not to travel to Spain, the new sanitary restrictions and the possible cancellation of trips for the elderly subsidized by the state are three of the main factors that make a significant fall in the level of hotel occupancy in Benidorm almost inevitable.
Many European countries, including Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Hungary, and the United Kingdom have advised against travelling to Spain and putting restrictions on anyone who comes from the country.
So far only Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden have not advised against travelling to Spain for fear of the spread of the coronavirus.
On the other side of the coin, the government of the Valencian community has also put pressure on the local hotel business after it reinforced the sanitary measures in the community.
Among the numerous restrictions is the closure of nightlife venues and the drastic reduction in capacity in bars and restaurants.
Faced with the new measures, various business and hotel associations demonstrated in the streets of the city of Benidorm last Sunday 23th August.
The protesters ask the government for financial aid to avoid massive layoffs and the recognition of the city as a safe destination due to the low number of registered infections.
According to a spokesperson for the Benidorm City Council, in the city, there are only 5 cases of contagion and all of them currently at homes without serious symptoms.
In the weekly reports published by the Hotel and Tourism Business Association of the Valencian Community (Hosbec), hotel occupancy in the city, where 78 out of 140 hotels remain open, has been up to 63 percent during the last week.
The most common profile of visitors has been families with children.
According to the president of Hosbec, Toni Mayor, the city’s hotel sector “has already enjoyed the best that this tourist season has in store”.
He estimated that next month about 10 or 15 out of the 140 hotels in the city will remain open.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, Spain has registered 412,553 cases of COVID-19 and 28,924 related deaths.
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