Holidays in Spain: Costa del Sol resort town of Benalmadena becomes ‘ghost town’ after pandemic | Travel News | To travel
The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Many Britons flock to its sunny Spanish beaches every summer.
But while many resorts on the Costa del Sol have begun to recover their industry, a couple are struggling to get started.
According to Spanish media, the once popular coastal area of Benalmádena Costa is disappearing from the map.
Spanish newspaper Sur reported that many once-bustling bars on the city’s main street never reopened.
Many are thought to never reopen with the same owner after the area failed to attract tourists.
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Some bars that reopened after restrictions were lifted have been forced to close again due to lack of tourists.
Several hotels did not reopen after the summer season. In a normal year, many Britons would have visited the resort during the winter.
The region has also been impacted by a decrease in “swallows”, the Britons who live in Spain during the winter months.
Cath, the manager of the only open bar on the Strip, told Sur, “Obviously the closure of hotels has had a big effect on this area.
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“I’ve been working on this tape for over 20 years and I’ve never seen it so quiet.
“There just weren’t enough British tourists here, so most of the bars closed. It’s a shame because this strip was once very lively.
Benalmádena Costa catered mainly to British tourists with many restaurants serving Sunday roasts or English breakfasts.
John Hughes, a tourist currently at the resort, told Sur: ‘It’s so terrible to see so many of my favorite bars closed.
“I’ve heard that some landlords have gone bankrupt, and I’m sure that’s true.
“I think it’s a foregone conclusion that British tourists will eventually return, but I don’t think many bar owners will be able to hold out.”
Andy and Sarah Moon, were also on vacation in Benalmádena Costa during the winter season.
They said: ‘We’ve been coming here for years over the holiday season, but this year we had trouble booking a hotel as the one we usually stay at is closed.
“However, the biggest disappointment is that the place looks like a ghost town.
“Most bars are closed, and the ones that are open have no one in them.”
This may not be the end for Benalmádena Costa. Spanish tourism officials predict an increase in bookings in 2022 as travel restrictions ease.
With Spain high on the list for many British tourists, it could see an influx of visitors this year.
According to data from EasyJet, almost 30% of Britons want to holiday in Spain in 2022.