Economic crisis hits Costa Blanca hotels

Recession drastically affects hotel reservations for new year’s eve on Costa Blanca
The economic crisis together with the early opening of many ski stations and the attraction of Madrid have all been blamed for the sharp fall in hotel reservations for new year’s eve in the Costa Blanca. With just weeks to go reservations are down by 30% compared to the average for 2007. Some establishments which form part of large hotel chains have been able to cancel new year’s eve parties and transfer clients to other hotels.

Restaurants in the province of Alicante are suffering due to the fact that fewer businesses have made reservations for company Christmas lunches this year and those that have made reservations have reduced their budgets sometimes by as much as half.

Fewer tourists visited Alicante, Calpe, Xábia, Altea, El Campello, Playa de San Juan and Benidorm during last weeks bank holiday weekend with only a 44% occupation reducing overall reservations by 20% this year compared to the same period last year 2007.

Vicente Marhuenda, the General Secretary of the Provincial Association of Hotels for Alicante says that hotels are extremely worried because although they are hoping for last minute reservations the economic panorama is not good. Over the recent bank holiday weekend there were at least a thousand empty hotels rooms everyday.

In Benidorm some hotels have been forced to cancel new year’s eve parties due to the fact that they only have reservations for 10% of their rooms compared to this time last year when they were fully booked.

Marhuenda and Javier García, the deputy chairman of Hosbec, are hoping that hotels in the province will receive last minute reservations so that a similar to Barcelona where hotels are facing losses of up to ten million euros can be avoided.

At the end of January the government’s ‘renewal plan’ will provide up to 400 million euros in loans to businesses in the service sector in order to improve their competiveness according to the chairman of Turespaña, Antonio Bernabé.