Spain holidays: Hope for Benidorm travel corridor after Canary Islands FCDO status change

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Benidorm is pressing to be the next Spanish destination to open up to the Britons without the need to quarantine on their return home. New hope was sparked for the region after the UK Government made the decision to add the Canary Islands back to the travel corridor list.

However, under plans being drawn up by regional authorities in Benidorm, visiting Britons would be subject to stringent rules.

This includes not leaving the resort of Benidorm at any time during their stay.

The concept being set out by local officials states that once in Benidorm, British tourists would remain within the town and not visit other places on the Costa Blanca.

They would be tracked throughout their holiday.

The local council has finalised details of its “Benidorm bubble” plan which would see the town treated like an island, even though it is on the mainland.

Tourism leaders say they are encouraged that the UK has dropped its quarantine rule for Brits who can now visit the Canary Islands without going into isolation for 14 days on their return.

But they want Benidorm to be the subject of the next announcement and say they are ready and able to keep British holidaymakers safe.

Latest figures for Benidorm show only 23 hotels out of 140 currently remain open but will close their doors unless the UK government has a quick change of heart.

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Occupancy is down to just 37 percent but hoteliers insist there is still demand with last-minute bookings.

One of the latest tourist attractions to suffer heartbreak is the much-loved Benidorm Palace.

On October 22, the entertainment venue announced it would be closing its doors due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Bosses say they will not be able to reopen until restrictions are improved.

In their announcement to Facebook, Benidorm Palace wrote: “Dear customers, we are very sorry to have to give this news, because every day more municipalities with mobility restrictions [are announced] and this is added to the forecast of the state of alarm to impose curfew, we are forced to close the doors until the situation is improving. See you soon!!!” [SIC]

In its 30 years of service, the famed party venue has never closed its doors to the public until this year.

Owners, Chrissie and Vincente, were first forced to close in March during the initial peak of the pandemic, before reopening again August.

In a bid to reignite tourism in Benidorm, mayor Toni Pérez led a meeting between representatives of the tourism industry and Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés Vereslt on Thursday.

They insist everything is now in place for a safe air corridor between the resort and the UK.

The mayor says Benidorm has a low incidence rate of coronavirus and has a “very complete and well-planned programme” to back up a new safe air corridor.

Negotiations are continuing with the UK authorities who are being pressed for an early decision to give the resort a chance of some kind of winter season following a disastrous summer which has left many establishments on the brink of bankruptcy.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot.

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