All inclusive Brits on rise but at what cost?

‘ALL inclusive’ package holidays has increased by 37 per cent among British tourists staying at Benidorm hotels in the first 9 months of this year compared to 2010.

This was reported by Benidorm’s ever-optimist  hotel and catering association, Hosbec.

Full board bookings also increased, by nine per cent, while half-board and bed and breakfast only declined significantly between May and October this year, compared to the same period last year.

The number of British tourists visiting Benidorm this summer rose by 11 per cent compared to 2010, growing from around 182,000 to more than 204,000, latest figures by the hotel association show.

Brits now represent between 35 and 40 per cent of the tourists in Benidorm, which is on par with that of the years before the recession began, figures show.

But some Benidorm businesses disagree with Hosbec’s findings.

Expat Steve Pilchowski, of London Emporium told EWN: “It’s all rubbish. It’s an illusion. Maybe the hotels are full but it doesn’t mean we see any more business.

“The all inclusive is killing Benidorm. If you go round in the winter the streets are dead. Everyone’s in their hotels. The bars are empty, the restaurants are empty. In the English (Rincon) section anyway. Maybe the bars that have customers have the right idea, selling beer at €1 a pint, but how many pints do they have to sell to make a profit?”

Su Simpkin, from The Ice Bar, The Cala said trade is difficult “People aren’t spending money, and they stay in their hotels. It’s all changed in the past years. I don’t know where they get theses figures from. It’s barmy.”

It is not just the bars that are not feeling optimistic, John Chapman of CJ Sports, Benidorm said he closing his shop in the Mercaloix indoor market.

“I can’t make any money. If the British are back, they’re not spending money. I’ve a stall on the market in the Rincon as well and it’s busier now than the summer, but the people don’t spend,” he said.

“They’ve all got their wristbands on for the all inclusives and they don’t spend their money outside the hotels. I don’t blame them, but it’s bad for Benidorm.

“Soon there’ll only be a few streets left with any life in them. Especially now winter is here. Who are these people that say that everything’s fine?”

Meanwhile, figures show the number of holidays booked by Brits on the Internet or telephone has decreased by three per cent while bookings through travel agencies have increased by 16 per cent.

The number of Britons travelling as a couple or with friends is up nine per cent and travelling with family by tour per cent.

 Special report by Nicole Hallett and Paul Deed

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