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Wednesday, 07 October, 2020, 16 : 30 PM [IST]
Spain’s Benidorm launches weekly GBP 245 all-inclusive deal to lure tourists

The resort town of Benidorm in Spain has launched a new all-inclusive deal it tries to tempt tourists back after being virtually shut down during coronavirus lockdown. 

For GBP 245 per person, visitors can stay for six nights in one of 250 apartments in the city while eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at two dozens restaurants.

Discounted packages starting at GBP 127 are available for people who only want some of their meals catered, while GBP 114 per person will buy an accommodation-only deal.

Packages can be booked through the Benidorm Resort website - which is currently available only in Spanish, though bookings written in English are being accepted.

The deals include food and drink, though alcohol is not included in the price.

Bookings began being accepted on October 1, and the offer currently runs through until the end of March next year. 

Tourism is Spain's third-largest industry, accounting for more than 10 per cent of national GDP - which in 2018 translated to more than GBP 160billion in revenue providing around 3 million jobs.

In regions such as the Costa Blanca, where Benidorm is situated, and the Balearic Islands, the situation is even more dire - with tourism accounting for up to a third of local income. 

The resorts were devastated by coronavirus lockdowns which effectively banned tourism across much of Europe through the lucrative summer season.
In the first seven months of 2019, up to the end of July, 2.2 million Britons visited Spain - the largest number of any foreign country.

In the same period this year the figure had dropped to just 378,000, a fall of 82 per cent. Figures for Germany, Spain's second-largest tourist market, fell 65 per cent - from 1.24 million to 432,302.

Overall, visitor numbers up to the end of July were 75 per cent down on last year. 

The Madrid-based Foundation for Applied Economics Studies has since warned that up to 70 per cent of Spanish tourism jobs could disappear in the next few years.

The Benidorm scheme is just the latest in a series of moves designed to bring visitors back to Spain.

A new 'Safe Tourism' seal, issued by the government's tourism agency, is designed to prove that hotels and resorts are complying with high standards of hygiene.

Other rules - such as masks in public areas, time sunbathing slots on beaches, and social distancing - are also designed to bring infections down and tourists back.

Even so, Spain has been one of the worst-hit countries with coronavirus, suffering more than 813,000 confirmed cases of the virus, and more than 32,000 deaths.

It was among the first European countries to go into full lockdown, and implemented one of the strictest regimes on the continent.

But since the economy began reopening in May cases have steadily trended upwards, with an average of more than 10,000 now being reported each day. (Source: Mail Online)