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The popular All Inclusive Melia hotel in Benidorm
Even being next to "Stringfellas" couldn't save it!

Sales of "All Inclusive" package holidays to Benidorm have soared by 37%  according to Hosbec (the  Hoteliers Association) this year and British holiday makers now account for aprox. 40% of the tourist market staying in the town. With the current financial crisis more and more people are booking All Inclusives so that they know exactly how much it is going to cost - the consequence of this is that many bars, cafes and restaurants in the town have had to shut down due to the downturn in business. This is all too apparent if you walk down any street ... its a sad sight and often not the fault of the owner but circumstances beyond their control. So many Brits come here and decide to open a bar thinking how easy it is but all too often they are packing their bags and boxes and to go back penniless after ploughing all their savings into what they thought would be their dream future and retirement.

An all too familiar sign "Se Alquila" - For rent
Following the Volcanic Disruption last year which left thousands of "independent" holiday makers stranded many now opt for the security of a package holiday. Prior to this it was popular to book a low cost flight with say Ryanair or Easyjet and accommodation separately but this left all those passengers with the headache of looking for additional nights at their own cost and then a laboriously long process of trying to reclaim the monies from the airlines.
I decided to have a quick look to compare the cost of booking a 1 week All Inclusive to the Melia for next week (Sat 12-19 November) for 2 adults sharing a room. - a website which claims to be "The home of discount hotels, apartments and cheap holidays worldwide".  They quoted £558.99 for AI yet £774.99 for full board!
First Choice - Accommodation PLUS flight from London Gatwick was an amazing £668 ... that's the price for 2 people NOT each!
Direct on the Melia Hotel website - They quoted 1010€ - which equates to aprox. £880.
You can therefore see from this snapshot why more and more are booking packages - as well as being cheaper you have the security of knowing if there is a problem the travel company are responsible for providing any extra nights due to delays and getting you back to the UK.

Yes it does say 1.40€ for a full English!

Benidorm is a magnet for pensioners - especially out of season. If you receive a UK State Pension you are entitled to carry on receiving it. Just about every hotel, restaurant and bar has English speaking staff - its like home from home but without the British weather. Many hotels offer special long term Winter deals which is why you will see so many older people in Benidorm then - they don't have to worry about heating and water bills etc. You can eat very cheaply too - a full English breakfast can be purchased for under 2€ and many restaurants do cheap early bird dinners to cater for the British pensioner.

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