By Anna Ellis •
Published: 07 Feb 2024 • 9:00
Benidorm's global allure: Tapestry of tourist treasures and Portuguese passion. Image: IgorAleks / Shutterstock.com.
Benidorm is increasingly attracting more foreigners who choose it as their destination for relaxation or to indulge in its myriad offerings.
In fact, in 2023, the municipality welcomed more international tourists than domestic ones for the first time.
At the close of the year, Benidorm saw 51.7 per cent of its travellers coming from other countries, compared to 48.3 per cent from nationals.
This marks a reversal from 2022, where the split was 50.9 per cent national and 49.1 per cent international, a distribution that also held true in 2019.
The tourist hub closed the previous year with a total of 2,238,000 travellers, representing a 4.1 per cent increase compared to four years prior when the figure stood at 2,150,420.
Of these visitors, 1,082,002 were Spanish citizens, while 1,156,048 were foreigners.
Tourists who embark on cross-country car trips often make their way to Benidorm for their holidays.
Portuguese visitors have discovered a slice of the Mediterranean in Benidorm and have quickly become the municipality’s second-largest international market, trailing only behind the British.
Their arrival has seen significant growth over the past four years, with a notable increase of 67.7% in 2023 compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic year of normalcy.
This trend is evident in a report from Visit Benidorm and corroborated by data from the National Statistics Institute (INE). While visitors from the United Kingdom continue to dominate as the primary source market for the city, Portuguese tourists have surpassed other markets such as Belgium, now securing the second spot in the rankings.
So, what draws Portuguese holidaymakers to Benidorm?
Beyond the allure of sun and sand, the diverse tourist offerings make it an ideal destination for families.
Over the years, the introduction of air routes from the Alicante-Elche Airport has expanded the target audience, notes Leire Bilbao, manager of Visit Benidorm.
The consistent year-round temperatures, both in the air and water, appeal to Portuguese visitors, who find the Mediterranean Sea warmer than the Atlantic Ocean that bathes their shores.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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