By Euro Weekly News Media • 15 April 2013 • 12:10
HOLIDAY PACKAGES: Special offers for AVE packages.
WHEN the Madrid-Alicante high speed AVE train service begins, Benidorm wants some of the action. The date is set for June 24, coinciding with Alicante city’s Hogueras fiestas, and in Benidorm it is felt that if private enterprise is to benefit from the AVE local businesses must take the initiative themselves.
It rankles that the arrival of the AVE in Alicante is not receiving the same treatment as Valencia. “A great deal of money was spent in promotional meetings,” pointed out Antonio Mayor, president of the Hosbec hoteliers associaiton. “Possibly too much,” he continued, “because Valencia city’s hotel trade has hardly benefited from the train.
“With Alicante the opposite has happened and the AVE has not been linked to the tourist sector,” Mayor claimed. Benidorm businesses are already in talks with six tour operators and travel agencies and are putting together packages with accommodation in Benidorm for visitors who arrive from Madrid on the AVE.
The offer will include a coach or minibus shuttle service from the AVE station in Alicante to Benidorm. “They will always sleep in Benidorm,” said Gema Amor, councillor responsible for Tourism, during a meeting of members of the Benidorm Tourism foundation.
“The aim is to promote Benidorm, not the AVE,” she explained. Her department is now discussing with rail authority Adif the possibility of including the Benidorm offer on the AVE web page.
Local businesses also believe the AVE link will be an added attraction for Russian tourists, Mayor said. “In a little over two hours they could find themselves in the country’s cultural centre as well as first class shopping and leisure facilities,” Mayor pointed out.
The Madrid excursions would be a complementary offer that will not distract Russian tourists from Benidorm’s restaurants and theme parks, Amor stressed.
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