After hundreds of cancelled flights to the UK’s favourite holiday destination, Benidorm, on the Costa Blanca in Spain, Brits have been eager to book a holiday especially since Spain lifts the 14-day traveller quarantine on July 1. However, the ball is now in Boris Johnson’s court as it is still unsure as to whether the British quarantine will still stand during the summer.
The Mediterranean holiday destination brings in a whopping 5.5 million British tourists a year, 75.5% of which fly in from London, Manchester or Edinburgh to soak up some sun on its seashores.
Although the hospitality sector in the area has already experienced some relief with its newfound freedoms and less restrictive measures, they are still missing an essential part of their economy – the Brits.
However, the announcement of Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, about the lifting of the 14-day quarantine has assuredly come as a sigh of relief for both establishments and tourists on Costa Blanca.
Benidorm and Brits have a close love affair. The travel site Lastminute has ranked the town as the favourite holiday destination for Brits in the entire world for years. This bond still stands strong and another travel site, TravelSupermarket which specialises in flight comparisons, highlighted that Benidorm was the most searched destination amongst its users during quarantine.
Given this interest, it is no surprise that a whopping 75.9% of all foreign tourism in Bendirom comes from the UK, which equates to around 5.5 million visitors each year, a number that even surpasses national tourism figures.
According to the Entrepreneurial Association of Hotels in Benidorm and Costa Blanca, last year Benidorm recorded 11 million hotel stays, which averages out to 84.5% capacity at accommodations. These impressive figures illustrate just how important the relationship between Brits and Benidorm truly is.
What do British people love so much about Benidorm? For starters, it has a more enjoyable and warmer climate than the cities of the UK, a factor that attracts pensioners just as much as it attracts families. Furthermore, the small town boasts of attractive prices in its accommodation and leisure activities which draws many people in. The travel website Lastminute also points to the fact that there is an abundance of flights at low cost connecting the two together.
Last but not least there is the problematic feature which accompanies these low costs, an excess of alcohol and partying which also draws the attention of a younger crowd. Nevertheless, this is a town which attracts Brits from all corners of the UK and all generations which is why the tourist heavy town cried a sigh of relief when hearing that the mandatory 14-day quarantine for holidaymakers had been lifted.
Now the ball is in Boris Johnsons’ court, to say the least. Even the Mayor of Benidorm, Toni Perez, has shown his anxiousness in this regard and he states that “it causes [Benidorm] a lot of uncertainty” not knowing how long the UK quarantine will last.
So far, in the UK, Johnson has announced that schools will be re-opening on the first of June, and that any foreigners entering the country must hold a 14-day quarantine. Furthermore, after facing heavy scrutiny, the Home Secretary, Priti Pattel, alluded to the month of July as the date in which Brits will probably be allowed to travel again.