Mayor Zaragoza, Inventor of Benidorm

Mayor Don Pedro Zaragoza with General Franco Credit: X:@Hiredknave

Thanks to an Urban Development Plan, the brainchild of Mayor Don Pedro Zaragoza, the transformation into the Benidorm of today began in the 1950s.

Mayor Don Pedro Zaragoza, recognising Benidorm‘s potential as a major tourist destination, embarked on a visionary journey to transform it from a humble fishing village into a bustling holiday paradise.

His ambitious plans, however, were met with resistance, particularly from the church bishops, who feared the moral implications of his vision on the average Spaniard.

Undeterred by the initial opposition, Mayor Don Pedro Zaragoza took his transformative ideas directly to General Franco, the seat of power in Madrid. Through his unwavering determination, he secured the approval of his dream: to allocate a ‘leisure’ area for every building in Benidorm.

The man who bottled the sun

Mayor Zaragoza was not just a visionary but an insightful marketer who knew it would take bold and creative strategies to attract the required investment and promote Benidorm as a desirable tourist destination.

One such strategy was to give out hundreds of bottles of ‘Sol de Benidorm’ wine to personalities from all over the world, including the Queen of England.

He is also the founder of the now-famous Benidorm Song Festival, which he initiated in 1959.

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Written by

Donna Williams

Marketer, copywriter, storyteller and President of Samaritans in Spain. They say variety is the spice of life and I am definitely loving life!