Lucio Calzaverini, owner of Viajes Alameda S.A, has witnessed Benidorm´s evolution over the years. After more than 40 years in Benidorm, he knows that very few European cities can compete with the capital of the Costa Blanca and he is well aware of how the city has adapted over the years to its changing circumstances.
In the 1980´s Benidorm received millions of French tourists, then in the 90´s it was the turn of the Italians to holiday in the city. The Dutch have been part of Benidorm´s profile for many years but then all of that changed. Today it is the British tourist that is the most important for the local industry so hotels and the different sectors of the local economy have had to adapt to this trend.
For this business man, with great knowledge of the tourist industry and many years experience, Benidorm is great value for money in relation to the quality on offer, although he admits that when there is no demand, everything appears to be more expensive.
What in your opinion is the situation now during this crisis?
This crisis has coincided with a period of change in tourism. Tourism is not the same now as it was ten years ago. Internet is the primary reason for this change, it has revolutionised the tourist sector. As all new technologies, it is a great tool, if you know how to use it correctly. Of course, the Tour Operators are still bringing clients to the area but in smaller numbers.
What are the strategies that are being implemented to boost tourism in this area?
The most important is the creation of new markets, especially from Eastern Europe. Countries like Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary are all potential areas to market. Even though they have many problems their standard of living has improved greatly.
What is the economic situation in Benidorm at the moment?
Benidorm is probably one of the tourist areas that has suffered the least during this financial crisis. When we look at the situation, there is still a lot of movement and a lot of clients. Let’s not confuse productivity with the market; what is important is not the volume but the yield capacity.
Do you believe it is in decline?
Not in my opinion, no. I have always believed that Benidorm is a very popular city that visitors never tire of, it has something special.
With your vast experience, what do you think Benidorm needs to complete its offer to the tourist?
It is obvious that improvements can be made in every area of life. In all tourist areas there are problems of security, cleanliness and many other factors. Apart from that the city is perfectly adapted, it has everything. The hotel industry the main drive of the local economy offers good standards and is very healthy.
Do you think that the Beach holiday, is becoming obsolete?
No. If people are coming to Benidorm for a cultural holiday or to see historic buildings they are mistaken. This is a city centred on entertainment, where visitors can enjoy themselves. We have many restaurants, hotels and other areas for the visitor to enjoy. One of the best examples is the large number of young people that see Benidorm as an entertainment paradise.
What could be improved?
In my opinion I would not make any changes to what there is at the moment. Benidorm is an area well known to those who visit. Clients know exactly what the area has to offer and come here to enjoy themselves.