With the current travel restrictions in place many are wondering if and when they will ever be able to take a holiday. It will happen – it´s just a matter of time. Benidorm is literally crying out for people to return, after all, their economy only really survives thanks to tourism. Hotels, restaurants bars, taxi drivers, theme parks and all those businesses associated with supplying them are on their knees, not only here but across the world.
However, for resorts such as Benidorm, there is no other industry to fall back on. So what is about Benidorm that makes people return year after year? Number 1 has to be the weather followed by the golden sandy beaches, cheap alcohol, entertainment, nightlife and obviously how quick and easy it is to fly to from numerous UK airports, manageable for just a long weekend.
Sadly Covid has put a temporary halt to international travel. Literally only a handful of hotels in Benidorm currently remain open and in those, the few domestic visitors there are, are rattling about. Some such as the two Ambassador hotels on calle Gerona have taken advantage of no tourists by undertaking major refurbishment works.
Many hotels are now in a catch 22 situation and waiting for the likes of Jet2 to restart their flight and holiday programme, currently suspended until April 14. At the beginning of the year many were hoping to capture the Easter market but that has been dashed. Now they and indeed everyone is holding their breath for a summer season of sorts.
The current restrictions we have – bars and restaurants closed except for take away or home deliveries in addition to a 10pm curfew, certainly won´t attract any visitors. This is due to be review and hopefully, fingers crossed lifted or at least relaxed on March 1. Everyone here is praying.
Unsurprisingly, the usually busy Rincon area is like a ghost town and this pandemic has sucked the life and soul out of the resort. The Mirador up at the top of the old town is a magnet for visitors, with its enviable views across both the Levante and Poniente bays but now stands almost deserted.
It is inevitable that many won´t survive this desperately sad situation. The ever-popular Showboat Bar & Restaurant is one such casualty, shutting their doors at the beginning of January, beaten.
Then there are the attractions that many, especially families come for. The Aqualandia water park only opened for a matter of weeks last summer, Terra Mitica never even bothered leaving just Terra Natura to stay open throughout. This will be a major factor for those with children… the pool and beach will only keep them entertained for so long!
The majority fly here, arriving at Alicante airport, but some will drive over in a motor-home. Be aware, a new ruling by the Valencian government will ban motor-homes from parking up overnight anywhere except a designated area – so no free stopovers in carparks etc. This comes into force from May 8.
We want and need you but realise as much as we want you here and you wanting to be here, it cannot happen until it is safe to do so. Much work has been done here during your absence. The top end of Avenida Mediterraneo has been completely remodeled, with some spectacular halo lights and extra wide pavements.
The mecca of nightlife here – aka The Square is about to be completely remodeled with new multicoloured stamped concrete paving, lighting and planters, all promised to be completed before the start of the summer season.
One things for sure, once restrictions are lifted and international travel back on, there will be one hell of a party!
Hold in there… you´ll be jostling for a space on the sand and partying all night in your favourite bar before you know it, just keep the faith and so will we!