It is quite a common occurrence in many holiday resorts, and Benidorm is no exception. Generally tourists are approached in the street, often outside their hotels by a rep offering a "free trip" and shown a brochure showing all the destinations which they offer - these are normally referred to as "blanket trips". Most only go as it is free and they get to see something different but I wonder how many are aware of the "obligation". Some offer fabulous destinations such as Calpe, Guadalest and Font´s Algar - but is it worth it?
But as everyone knows, there is no such thing as a "free lunch" and you are told by the rep when booking, that you will be "invited to a short presentation of our fabulous products". In the old days these trips were referred to as "blanket trips" as they did try and sell you blankets and bedding products, but now they offer a multitude of items - most of which you probably don´t need! Some of the presentations are short at around 30 minutes but I have heard of instances where they are over an hour and a half!
|"Free" juicing trip in Benidorm series 2!|
The local police have launched an inspection campaign on buses operating in the town after finding two cases in which the buses did not have the required licenses and paperwork from Generalitat to be operating. But more worryingly in my opinion is that the buses did not have the necessary bus liability insurance - meaning that in an accident the passengers would not be covered. They also discovered some instances where the reps did not have an employment contract and were working in the black ie. cash in hand and so not paying any taxes or social security contributions.
Many travel agents have been campaigning for years for there to be a crackdown on this type of "unfair competition". In recent years they have lost up to 80% of their business to non-regulated operators who do not have the necessary permits. This is much the same as the illegal taxi drivers who do airport runs for cash. I am certainly not insinuating that all the free trips on offer in Benidorm are not legal - but how on earth can you tell!
It seems a coincidence - or does it, that a new Chief of Police for Benidorm was announced last month and in his speech he emphasized his desire to crackdown on crime and illegal activity in the town! Next the potato men and beggars with puppies - lets hope!
Prison sentences for Benidorm´s pea men?
Benidorm Town Hall taking action on crime