By Tara Rippin • 19 May 2020 • 15:25
Photo of Teresa Ribera at the Cepsa plant in Tenerife.
Credit: [email protected]
AS reported earlier today, in a boost to tourism Spain, Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos said he hopes to welcome British holidaymakers back to Spain for the summer holidays, “from late June, we’ll start the tourism activity, I hope,” he said.
“We must make Spain an attractive country from a health point of view.”
And in another positive move for the tourism industry, the UK government is proposing a so-called ‘Air-Bridge’ system that would allow international travel to resume. It works by allowing travellers from countries with low-controlled rates of the virus to be able to move more freely between ports.
Abalos’ comments follow Spain imposing a two-week quarantine on all overseas travellers, saying it was needed to avoid a second wave of coronavirus infections.
But in spite of this, with Benidorm taking tentative steps towards a “new normality” and the hospitality industry gradually reopening its doors, Brits are wasting no time booking a fortnight in their favourite resort.
Martin O’Shaughnessy posted a throwback photo on Benidorm Seriously, captioned: “This bunch of degenerates should have arrived in Benidorm today.
“We are booked for the festival week in November, but hopefully, if at all possible, will get there before then.”
Lois Reynolds has no intention of losing money paid for a previous flight. “Not going to lose my money, if the flight is going in July I shall be on it.”
Wendy Whyte has visited Benidorm every year for three decades, and is raring to get back. She posted yesterday: “Tomorrow we would have been going on our hols to Benidorm – first time we have missed our May hols in 31 to 33 years.”
Gillian Calvert posted a pic from her holiday in 2018: “Two years ago Cobacobana Bar on sea front for our daily afternoon drinks and people watch… should have been going June 15, transferred to next year, stay safe see you again Benidorm.”
Andrew St Peter has a long wait, but is nonetheless excited: “Can’t wait to get out there for my 40th next May 9, seems ages away but will soon go.”
Laurel wrote: “Should have been flying out in three weeks but unfortunately it’s all beyond our control, decided I wouldn’t book for next near until things have calmed down … my decision didn’t last long and today booked for eight nights next June stopping at Medplaya Regente, need something to look forward to and it was a bargain.”
The price of holidays has been met with a mixed response, with the likes of Laurel finding a bargain, and others reporting extortionate prices nearing €3,000.
While only 10 per cent of Benidorm’s 1,100 plus bars, restaurants and cafes have reopened so far, those that have welcomed customers back have thanked them for their support.
Leon Cousins of Refuel Cafe Bar, said: “Phase 1 and one week in, we survived. I’d like to thank all those that supported us. For those that have anxiety about reopening their business, or reading pessimistic comments and press, it will be ok in small steps.
“I might not have had my wages, but have five things to be grateful for thanks to last weeks business…
1. I could afford a fish and chip treat for myself from Pigs Kitchen, thank you Paul & Helen
2. We covered our bills and costs
3. I can now afford a flight to the UK to see my loved ones
4. I could now buy a Sun €9.99 holiday (if I wanted)
5. It was great to spend so much time talking to my friends and customers, and have my best friend support me with business.”
And it seems regulars are glad to be back in their favourite bars. Martin Yates shared photos from his “first pub drinks in two months.”
While Mark Underwood posted this afternoon: “Beer o’clock it’s been a long eight weeks.”
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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