MONTHS later than expected, the first Imserso tourists arrive on the Costa Blanca.
Normally pensioners would have started arriving in October through the government-subsidised scheme. Instead, there has been a four-month gap due to the central government’s delay in awarding contracts to the travel agencies arranging the holidays.
In early February, the first Imserso tourists began arriving in Denia and Benidorm, where hoteliers believe the boost received from the Benidorm Fest Eurovision selection galas will not lose momentum.
Twelve hotels on the Costa Blanca, some of which had been closed since the start of the pandemic, are reopening. By February 11, the total will have reached 100, and by the end of the month there should be 6,000 Imserso tourists on the Costa Blanca.
“We decided to open because we couldn’t stay closed as losses piled up,” sources at the Bristol Hotel in Benidorm told Spanish media. “Our market studies have revealed that with the arrival of tourists from Imserso and the rooms that we can fill at the weekend, we should be able to hold out until Easter week.”
Meanwhile, Leire Bilbao, who heads the Visit Benidorm Foundation, has confirmed that summer bookings match those in February of the record year of 2019.