The coronavirus crisis and the recurring outbreaks across Spain have caused the UK to enforce a mandatory 2-week quarantine for British travellers returning from Spain. This means cancelled flights and a dire situation for Costa Blanca as it gives up on British Tourism and turns to a different market.
Benidorm is one of the destinations in Costa Blanca who feels this struggle the most. Renowned for its busy nightlife and bustling Brits, Benidorm is eerily quiet in comparison to a typical weekend in August. This municipality regularly survives on the income that foreign tourists bring. Nevertheless, due to restrictions, British tourists have decided not to travel outside their country. For this reason, the hoteliers of the city are now trying their luck with a different market and they try to attract the attention of the national public.
Just as Boris Johnson announced the quarantine measures, hotels in Benidorm lost around 300,000 hotel reservations, causing occupation rates to drop from 50% to 30%. Therefore, many business owners are quickly trying to change tactic and attract the national Spanish market.
One of the measures that they have adopted to bring in the Spanish market to Costa Blanca is to offer discounts. These discounts are directed at large families and medical staff. One Spanish tourist has noted, “it has been much cheaper to come this year than others, you can tell things have changed”.