|One of many Facebook protest pages set up|
Following Monday´s article in The Sun entitled "Benidoom" there has been a huge backlash from both residents and holiday makers in the resort.
I myself published an article and the following day sent a copy to both the editor and the reporter who wrote the original story, Graeme Culliford ... and story is what it was as far as many are concerned. I must say I was rather surprised to receive a response from Mr Culliford as I am certain his inbox would have been overflowing - and not with complimentary remarks on his reporting skills!
He started by saying "Hi Irena, I appreciate that you want to stand up for Benidorm and that you have your views on how things are going". Yes, spot on there Graeme- I actually live here, speak to people everyday and actually know what is happening here. He then went on to say the following which left me speechless "I interviewed around a dozen people and had informal conversations with countless others...." So he has based a double page article, possibly ruining countless businesses not on weeks or even days of research and interviews but on speaking to "around" a dozen people and "based on these interviews, I wrote the best article I could in the time frame available" - for all we know that time frame could have been on the 2 hour flight back to London.
I also posted my link onto Trip Advisor - Benidorm Forum under my user name Miss Beni in defense of the inaccurate article. There had been hundreds of comments on the original Sun article and my follow up and guess what, I have been de-activated and banned from Trip Advisor for daring to criticize the false reporting in The Sun... who´s link incidentally remains but mine was deleted! I have now been openly welcomed to another Benidorm forum, "benidormlovers.com" who are as the name suggests, offering people opinions and advice on the town. The Advertising Standards Agency have launched inquiries following complaints that false reviews and posts have reached epidemic levels on Trip Advisor - so basically take with a pinch of salt what you read!
|Delighted holiday makers at John & Josephs|
For Simon Chipchase & Emma Howell it is there 5th time back here - they have visited the resort at various times of the year and said it was a busy as always. A group of 9 from Belfast (at the back of pic) said its heaving and that they are loving it here - for some it was their first time but others had been before... and they were all planning on coming back.
|Geordie Bar owner Stu|
Local bar owner Stuart was furious at the false accusations made in Monday´s article. Looking around it was difficult to even relate the article to what I saw around. Tables were full of customers and Stuart told me that it was "the best 6 months" he has had in a long time. There have been a lot of families coming in of late and he shakes his head in disbelief as he picks up a copy of the fated newspaper... one that he normally never gets he told me but when he had a phone call from a UK relative about the piece he shot out of the bar to buy a copy and read it for himself.
Another local business owner Vikki located at the Indoor Market told a similar story. She has has her salon for 6 years and told me she has just had the best May, June & July since opening! Of the article she said "You would expect a professional journalist to print something factually correct - the man is disillusioned. With all the backlash I think that it´s backfired on the paper".
|Cailyn in red stripy top|
|Young Charlie & Mia not allowed airbeds at the Pelicanos|
|Levante this morning|
|Pea men caught in the act|
To end his email Graeme wrote "If you are claiming everything is rosy you are ignoring some worrying economic trends". No I am not ignoring anything.... crime does exist as everyone is aware - but no more so than any other resort city. Most are aware of the pea men, or some call them the potato men - but as mentioned on both the BBC and in National UK papers, they seem to have descended on London in time for the Olympics. Pickpockets operate here as they also do in London, Manchester, Rome ... need I go on. I am not saying that things are perfect but we don´t need The Sun making damaging statements in an already difficult economic situation.
Only last month "This Morning" broadcast one of its shows from Benidorm and the crowds of people had to be held back.... certainly wasn´t looking very "doomy" to me!