BENIDORM is facing its worst start to the year, with around 50% of its hotels closed due to a massive drop in tourist numbers.
Hoteliers say the situation is dire, rivaled only by the period when all hotels had to close during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is said that the weeks after Christmas until mid-February have always been the calmest for the hospitality industry, but this year will also be the most difficult.
“Benidorm begins the year with almost 50% of hotel establishments closed, a complicated situation that has only exceeded the months of total closure they have had to carry out due to the restrictions of the pandemic,” said a door-keeper. hotel floor.
“The wave of hotel closures and the lack of foreign or domestic travelers are also affecting bars and restaurants which have seen how the streets of the city have emptied after the Christmas period.”
Álex Fratini, representative of the hotel association Abreca, told the Spanish press: “Many hotels have decided to ‘close the blinds’, either to go on vacation, or to make improvements and reforms in their premises, or simply because ‘lack of work’ does not make it profitable to open every day.”
According to data from Abreca, among its nearly 1,300 associates, “50% are closed right now because ‘it’s not worth it’.”
Hotel association Hosbec has also confirmed that Benidorm has seen its average occupancy rate drop in just one week by nearly 10 percentage points.
The average occupancy of the destination amounts to 43.7% for the days of January 3 to 9.
“It’s the second worst winter in the history of tourism after 2021, when everything was closed because of the pandemic,” said its president, Toni Mayor.
Domestic tourists accounted for 44.3% of the total this week, leaving 55.7% of importance for the international market.
The British tourist maintains its position as the main international source market and consolidates with 34.2% of the total occupancy quota, while in second and third position are the Belgian and Dutch markets with 8.1% and 8% respectively.
As for the forecast between January 10 and 16, it should end up reaching 32.5%.
A predicted figure which, if realized, would confirm the pessimistic expectations of the sector after the Christmas holidays.
There are currently a total of 48 hotels associated with HOSBEC open in Benidorm, representing a representation of 42.5%.
Despite the bleak outlook, Hosbec says Benidorm is still doing relatively well compared to other domestic destinations and Britons are staying loyal.
“The presence of 34% Britons in Benidorm when the restrictions were not yet lifted is striking,” said Toni Mayor.
The station hopes some sort of normalcy will return in late February.
“Expectations are for a spring and summer without restrictions and with a normalized epidemiological situation,” he said.
Spain is currently open to Britons, although all arrivals must be vaccinated.