BENIDORM’S TOURIST TROUBLE
Dave Bull / 2010-04-20 12:01:04
Benidorm, the town that people love to hate has been recognised by the Spanish government for its importance to tourism after it was calculated to represent 4% of the total tourism of Spain. Just last week the Spanish Senate gave the green light for a modification of local tax laws which will allow Benidorm to be considered as a tourist municipality meaning the town will benefit from tax breaks and government assistance in promoting itself both here in Spain and abroad.
The Partido Popular proposal, presented by Agustín Almodóbar from Benidorm won 127 votes in support thanks to the CiU and some senators from the Mixed Group although there were 120 votes against the idea from the PSOE, PNV and others, while the Canary island group abstained.
In order to be considered as a tourist municipality a town has to have more than 20,000 population, and the number of second residence or tourist homes has to be greater than that of main residence. As it stands there are currently 21 localities in Spain with the tourist distinction which also allows for greater flexibility in shop opening hours and other areas.
This all comes after the regional Valencia government cut spending on tourism by 43% over the past two years, while at the same time calling for more support from central Government.
Press reports state that the Consell is now two years behind paying the grants to tourist municipalities, taking its information from the annual accounts for 2008 from the Valencia Tourism Agency. If the tendency continues, more than 30 of the 71 million € budgeted for this season could be lost. Which would seem to make Benidorm’s efforts to become a municipality of tourism rather fruitless?
Meanwhile the PP spokesperson in the Valencia parliament, Rafael Blasco, has said that they are presenting several new initiatives insisting central government considers tourism a priority. Among their demands is a 4% rate for IVA/VAT on tourism based activities.
Tags: Benidorm, Tourism