Hoteliers in Benidorm are trying to lure Spanish citizens to stay this summer with rock-bottom deals on offer – after thousands of Brits cancelled their stays.
Following the shock announcement by the UK government that Brits must isolate after visiting Spain, many holidaymakers have chosen to skip their trip this year.
According to Euro News Weekly, the Costa Blanca resort has now “given up” on trying to attract Brits this summer, in favour of Spanish locals.
Local media reports that hotels in Benidorm have lost around 300,000 reservations following the travel ban, causing occupancy rates to drop from 50 per cent to 30pc.
Now many business owners are quickly trying to change tactic and attract domestic tourists instead.
Spain now has 109,701 active coronavirus infections – with 3,092 recorded on Friday, the biggest jump since the country ended lockdown.
On June 25, it was announced that Spain was being removed from the UK’s safe list, giving holidaymakers less than five hours to return home if they wanted to skip quarantine.
Tour operator Jet2 cancelled many return flights following the news and asked customers to rebook – saying it could not afford to keep sending empty flights to bring Brits home.
Now discount are being offered to persuade large families and medical staff to enjoy a holiday in Benidorm.
One Spanish tourist told local media that the popular resort “has been much cheaper to come this year than others, you can tell things have changed”.
Some Spanish hotels have already closed – as they are empty without British tourists unable to visit.
The four-star Rio Park Hotel decided to shut just six days after opening due to the lack of guests.
Rio Park director Miguel Angel Correa told local paper Informacion: “We opened on Saturday morning and a few hours later the UK announced it was removing Spain from its list of safe countries.
“The same day several groups of British holidaymakers checked in but they were the first and the last.”
Spain’s tourism sector faces a £65billion hit this summer as the new travel ban damages the economy further.
Officials hope an upcoming review of the quarantine measures could lift the restriction within days.
Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said: “They have given us a period of 10 days for the review.”
“There has been talk of a second wave of the pandemic but we’re not at all at that point.
“The new outbreaks are under control and are in very specific places, and Spanish tourist destinations at the moment have very low levels of contagion.
“That means people can enjoy their holidays there. The virus needs to be respected but that doesn’t mean we can’t have well-deserved holidays.