Spain holidays: Benidorm hotel occupancy plummets this month but UK tourists still booking

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Benidorm, located on the Costa Blanca, is usually a very popular destination with Britons all year round. The city is known for its warm climate, great beaches and affordable prices. However, this year, the area like many others in Spain has suffered largely due to a lack of tourists and coronavirus restrictions.

Currently, Spain is in a State of Emergency which means there is an overnight curfew in place which depends on the region.

Regional governments also have legal powers to impose travel restrictions if necessary.

Hosbec, a Valencian Hotel Association which represents hotels in Benidorm, has revealed the occupancy data for the first half of November for Benidorm, the Costa del Sol and Valencia.

The first fortnight of November usually sees an occupancy rate above 80 percent which also takes into account the changing weather.

This year, it barely reaches 21 percent in Benidorm, 27 percent on the Costa Blanca and 30 percent in Valencia.

Hosbec has recorded an occupancy of 21.4 percent for Benidorm during the first half of November.

However, the data has revealed something “positive”, which is the presence of tourists from the UK despite the government’s stringent quarantine rules on those returning from Spain.

According to the data in Benidorm, 58.7 percent of the market is domestic while 23 percent is from the UK.

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Portugal is the third country of origin of tourists with just under five percent of the market.

Benidorm currently only has ten hotels open in the city which is 8.7 percent of its accommodation capacity.

Other hotels on the Costa Blanca have also seen their occupancy decline during the beginning of November with an average of 27.1 percent occupancy.

Valencia had a positive first fortnight of November, however, the second half will take a dip according to the survey.

Less than than ten percent of available hotel rooms will be occupied over the next few weeks.

Domestic travel is the dominant market in Valencia, making up just over 75 percent.

It comes as a closed hotel on the Costa del Sol is still having to pay €50,000 (£44,700) each month despite it being closed.

The president of the Association of Hotel Entrepreneurs of the Costa del Sol (Aehcos), Luis Callejon, said it costs a minimum of €50,000 to keep a four-star hotel with 100 rooms closed.

Even hotels which are closed have outgoings which cost.

Rent, electricity, water and various other taxes all contribute to the running of a hotel – even when it’s closed.

Mr Callejon said that only “30 percent of the hotels in the province of Malaga are open”.

Other businesses such as restaurants and cafes also face the same outgoings.

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