BENIDORM is gearing up for a bumper 2024 for tourism with the UK its biggest international market, despite negative tabloid stories that city officials have described as internet ‘clickbait’.
The resort’s tourism sector says that stories of killer sharks, insect bites and inaccurate reporting of the now-scrapped tourist tax are simply brushed aside by visitors from the UK.
The view is that Benidorm is such a well-established holiday destination, that the impact of such sensationalistic reporting is ‘virtually nil’, with great loyalty to the city shown by repeat British visitors.
Tour operators and travel agencies are not bothered by the tabloid headlines either.
Leire Bilbao head of Visit Benidorm said: “Tour operators don’t give the stories any credibility or importance.”
“Every time there is negative news, it is disproportionate to reality,” Bilbao added.
“The real impact is practically nil because the British themselves already know that the stories are sensationalist, and you won’t see news like that in media like the Financial Times.”
Bilbao said the British ‘know how to differentiate between one media and another’.
The Benidorm tourism chief said that many UK visitors are regulars and know the city, and that a million Brits came last year.
Fede Fuster, president of the Benidorm-based hotel association Hosbec, said: “The reality is that the British are here and will continue to come.”
Fuster agreed with Leire Bilbao hat negative stories also have a ‘zero impact’ on visitor numbers.
He stressed that ‘there is a lot of ‘fake news’ in the press” that often has to be fought with doses of reality, and that is ‘countered on social media by the people who come and enjoy what we have’.