|Common sight of Chinese shop with its wears on display
The Confederation of Employers of the Province (COEPA) have been running a course this month to teach the language and culture to some of its employees in the hope of viewing the Chinese not only as business partners but also as a potential source of tourism.
The average age of the "students" on the course is 40 and they have requested that the course is extended for another month - the class was scheduled for 50 hours teaching.
One of those on the course is an employee of the El Altet airport in Alicante and there to learn basic language skills which will enable announcements in Chinese over the tanoy system. Travel agencies have seen an increase in Chinese visitors and deem it important to be able to at least greet the clients in their native language. In 2011 the Department of Commerce for Benidorm had more than 160 Chinese businesses registered in the locality.
|Menus starting at 4.50€ including wine!
I spoke to an employee at the Town Hall to ask their take on the matter. Basically there is nothing the authorities can do - if all the paperwork is in order and they pay all the relevant taxes they have no grounds to refuse an application.
Just as they can't stop yet another bar, estate agent or bank opening they cannot discriminate against the Chinese. They have to adhere to the same laws as all other shop and restaurant owners.
But it does amaze me how cheaply they can sell some of the products - you can literally buy anything there. From electrical fittings, DIY tools, stationary, kitchen ware, toiletries - its an Aladins cave and I bet everyone has at least one product purchased from one. Quality may not always be the best but then for the price you pay for the product you hardly expect it to be.
|Hugely popular WOK restaurant in Albir