BENIDORM and the Spanish are trying to charm the British with a new marketing campaign following some ’embarrassing’ negative incidents involving Brit holidaymakers during the summer.
The “Enjoy Benidorm with the Spanish people” campaign has been created to counter ‘turismofobia’ and ‘encourage mutual respect’.
Tourism in Benidorm depends on the British market which accounts for around 50% of all hotel stays.
But stories about the disturbances during the World Cup, the British man who allegedly paid to have his name tattooed on the face of Tomek the homeless Polish man and the 81-year-old tourist, Freda Jackson, who claimed there were “too many Spanish” in her holiday hotel have all hit the national and international media.
It is claimed that all the negative publicity has put pressure on relations between British visitors and the usually very convivial Spanish hosts.
So, in a creative counter-measure, a project by local graphics designer Pepe López Aperador (Pep Art) called “Enjoy Benidorm with the Spanish people” is to be launched on Friday, September 7.
The artist said, “Benidorm is a city that has always been an example of tolerance and peaceful coexistence”.
The regional secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, said that each Valencian must serve as “ambassador” of their land, with a dual function: to retain the client and assume that tourism is an essential part of the regional economy, with a 14 per cent of GDP.
Benidorm, with 70,000 registered inhabitants, is completely focused on tourism, especially holidaymakers from abroad.
Around half of the visitors it receives in the summer are of British nationality.
The popularity of the Benidorm brand in the United Kingdom is such that 90% of the British who go the Valencia Community choose the tourist capital of the Costa Blanca to spend their holidays, and even have their own area (known as the guiri area) where the pubs and hotels catering specifically for them proliferate.
The creator of the campaign has even invited the tourist Freda Jackson, who said her hotel catered too much for the Spanish, to the event but it is not known if she will attend the launch.