Benidorm euphoria after British plans to lift travel restrictions

by Lorraine Williamson

BENIDORM – The tourist trade association Hosbec predicts a large number of bookings from British tourists. This includes stays in Benidorm and other places on the Costa Blanca from late spring to the end of summer. The UK will lift travel restrictions from 17 May. 

After nearly a year of not being able to welcome British tourists, Hosbec hopes that the “spectacular recovery” in bookings made in recent days will at least save the Costa Blanca’s summer season. This anticipated recovery is a result of the announcement of the de-escalation by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He announced on Monday that Britons will be able to travel internationally again from 17 May. However this measure will be evaluated on April 12, depending on the development of the pandemic and the vaccination rhythm. As such, hoteliers anticipate that “the most bookings in the history of the summer season” will be recorded this week.

“There is a desire to get revenge on the virus and going on vacation is the best revenge,” said Toni Mayor, president of Hosbec, after a meeting with the president of the regional government, Ximo Puig.

Benidorm summer season can be saved

Hosbec hopes the “spectacular recovery” of the past few days will make it possible at least to save the summer season. As it will still be difficult to travel at Easter. Leure Bilbao, manager of Visit Benidorm, points out that it makes no sense if the British are allowed to leave their country. But if the pandemic in Spain is not being controlled and quarantines are imposed upon return. This also happened at the end of July last year. That measure resulted in numerous cancellations in Benidorm. 

Cogesa Expats

Bilbao, is focusing precisely on this as she can imagine Brits looking through a magnifying glass” where they can go. Additionally, they will take into account the epidemiological situation, and whether there is a health passport for vaccinees. Furthermore, they will need to know what kind of test is required if they are not vaccinated and when the quarantines are lifted. 

Responsibility “to do things right”

Bilbao also expressed concern that Spain is not doing ‘its homework’ properly during the de-escalation. As it is now facing a new wave of infections. This, she emphasizes in, can be a negative aspect. That is why there is a great responsibility “to do things right”.  Especially for the autonomous communities with the largest tourist zones, such as the region of Valencia. 

The director of the Costa Blanca tourist office, José F. Mancebo, considers it important that the national government looks at what other countries are doing and draws up a plan as a recipient of tourists. He calls for harmonious measures to promote the return of tourism. 

More than half of all foreign tourists who have visited Benidorm in recent years are British. Many hotels have been closed for nearly a year as they cater specifically to British tourists. 

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