Three Business Associations in Benidorm have joined forces to tackle the continuing hostility aimed at them from Neighbourhood Associations on the issue of noise! A meeting took place in the Old Town on Tuesday in which the Presidents of the Associations discussed how and if they and their members can come to an amicable conclusion.
Noise issue mainly in Old Town
The problem is not new, but the Neighbourhood Associations appear to be putting pressure on both the Police and Town Hall to find a solution – remember it´s local elections next year! However, it does seem to predominantly be a problem in the Old Town, which is where most of the Spanish residents live.
But businesses are up against an almost impossible situation – Benidorm is a tourist destination and as such relies on holidaymakers to bring money to the town. 90% of the money generated is from tourism, which possibly the police and Town Hall need to be reminded of!
Spanish disturb their own
The noise problem escalated when the smoking ban was introduced back in 2011 – and obviously in the current warmer weather, more people want to sit outside. Clubs and bars have already been forced to shut terraces and windows at an earlier time – a number of years ago it was 02:30am but now it is 00:30am. But restaurants and cafes, which the Spanish tend to frequent ALOT later than the British I hasten to add, have certainly got their work cut out. While most Brits will be eating their evening meals between 7pm and 8pm, Spanish people tend to be going out at 10pm.
They are not exactly quiet talkers either and all tend to shout at the same time, almost competing against each other as to who can talk louder – obviously accompanied with the obligatory hand gestures. Just stand and watch a Spaniard talk – he can´t but help wave his arm around in the air! The same is true when they drive – you can always tell if driving behind a local as one hand will be on the wheel while the other will be flying around. But local police now have hand held noise monitors to check not on the music decibels generated, but on peoples voices - a trial that has just started! Seems rather peculiar - are they going to tell people that they will be arrested if they don´t talk quieter?
Party Brits tend to stick to Rincon area
But that aside, many bar and restaurant owners are seriously worried that by forcing customers to quieten down they will take their business elsewhere – and resorts such as Torrevieja, Gandia and Javea are just ready to jump and welcome them with open arms. It could prove catastrophic for Benidorm if some kind of amnesty is not reached between the warring factions – flexibility is the key on both sides. After all, much of the noise is actually generated by their own – the party going Brits tend to stick to Calle Gerona and the English Square which is predominantly surrounded by clubs and hotels...