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New Spanish IVA rates come into effect today

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The IVA increases, announced in July by Prime minister Mariano Rajoy came into force at midnight - making the general rate 21% - 1% higher than in the UK. However, where the difference becomes really apparent is on the utilities. In the UK gas, electricity and heating oil is charged at a reduced VAT rate of 5% but here in Spain it is subject to the full standard rate, which is now 21%!

Benidorm Town Hall taking action on crime

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Benidorm Mayor Agustin Navarro chaired a meeting at the Town Hall yesterday with the Head of Security, Police officials and local business leaders to discuss the issues raised following much controversial press coverage in the UK national papers - most notably The Sun.The City Council have requested that Central Government restore National Police reinforcements during the busy Summer period having noticed a reduction from previous years.

Mayhem & Madness: the tales of an airport transfer company

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Have you every wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a shuttle transfer call centre? I asked one of the young ladies to recall a typical working day and here is her account....Oscar Wilde once said "there is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life"- this had never become more apparent than when I started work for an airport transfer company.

Rain stops play in Benidorm!

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Sunday´s much needed rain bought chaos to Benidorm as sewers overflowed, unable to cope with the torrential downpour. The early Summer rain was very short but sharp and proved that the towns sewerage and drainage system lacks capacity.

The rise and rise of All Inclusives to Benidorm

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The unstoppable rise of the All Inclusive holiday to Benidorm continues to spark tension between hoteliers, restauranteurs and retailers. Javier Garcia, deputy president of HOSBEC, the hoteliers association said that "If we did not offer All Inclusives then we would loose customers. People want to ensure that their holiday budget is clear - this market has grown and continues to grow and if we did not offer it people would go to other destinations.

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Benidorm´s "Golden Mile" ?

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When you hear the term "Golden Mile" you have visions of the famous Las Vegas strip, all lit up and glamorous. However, Benidorm´s so called Golden Mile is anything but....It is a stretch on the old N332 which use to be the main road through Benidorm before the bypass was built ... which incidentally is being improved and widened as we speak.

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Petrol still cheaper in Benidorm

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August has been a very busy month in Benidorm - mainly due to the domestic Spanish holiday maker taking a "staycation". The city dwellers, particularly those from Madrid flock to Benidorm for their 2 week break - they view Benidorm as their local beach. Unfortunately the majority drive and its a nightmare trying to find somewhere to park during this period.

Queen Elizabeth Cruise ship in Alicante

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The Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, operated by Cunard arrives in the port of Alicante today this morning, sailing in from Rome then setting sail again at 17.00 this afternoon for Gibraltar.The 2100 passengers, (and 900 staff) will have the opportunity to disembark and spend the day on shore - I remember earlier this year there was talk of offering an excursion service to coach them over to Benidorm but not sure whether this materialised or not.

An alternative to mobility scooters in Benidorm?

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If you fancy trying something a bit different whilst in Benidorm, then have a go on the Benibike! Need some exercise to burn off all those Menu del Dias you´ve been indulging in or extra pints you have been enjoying, then this may be something to look at! I saw it yesterday evening going along the the main Avd Mediterraneo, all lit up and it looked good fun - but you need rather a lot of energy.

Charity Golf tournament at Villaitana Benidorm

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The charity golf day held on Sunday was a great success and very well attended. The venue was the beauitiful Villaitana golf resort in Benidorm - located up towards Terra Mitica. I popped by on Saturday to find Dave, Ted and Aldo busy setting everything up - you don´t realise how much preparation goes on behind the scenes to make events such as this possible.

Ryanair under investigation in Spain

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Following a complaint from AENA the Spanish Airports Authority, the Aviation Safety Agency under the Ministry of Development has initiated an investigation against budget carrier Ryanair. This follows an incident when 3 Ryanair flights were forced to make emergency landings at Manises Airport in Valencia on 26th July due to lack of fuel. It has opened a debate on the aggressive cost cutting policies favored of the budget airline.

Benidorm Palace - why its Europe´s top entertainment venue

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For a first class night out you cannot beat Benidorm Palace - it has been voted Europe´s best cabaret theatre and nightclub for 2012, even beating the likes of Moulin Rogue in Paris! It is probably the most visited attraction in Benidorm and you are guaranteed a night to remember. The show changes every year and the new one, which was launched in May is called "Surreal".

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First the Chinese, now the Russians are coming to Benidorm

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Russia´s new "middle classes"are choosing Spain as their preferred holiday destination. The Russian market is growing and Benidorm is certainly courting this influx of visitors to its shores. With flights available from Moscow to Alicante on both Iberia and Vueling the market is sure to keep increasing and bringing them in. Russian tour operator "Versa" have also launched charter packages from St Petersburg to Alicante.

The Russians are use to crowded beaches
Russia´s new "middle classes"are choosing Spain as their preferred holiday destination. The Russian market is growing and Benidorm is certainly courting this influx of visitors to its shores. With flights available from Moscow to Alicante on both Iberia and Vueling the market is sure to keep increasing and bringing them in. Russian tour operator "Versa" have also launched charter packages from St Petersburg to Alicante over the peak summer season. On Tuesday, the councillor for Tourism and Culture stated that "the rise of markets such as Russia and Britain has offset the slight decline in in domestic tourism".

Up to now most Russian that were unable to travel out of the country headed to the southern resort of Yalta, on the Black Sea. The beaches are terribly crowded... I have actually experienced it myself some years back. In fact, it was SO chock-a-block that people stood up reading their books and rotated around with one arm up in the air to get  an even suntan... it reminded me of a chicken on a rotisserie!
Russian church in Altea


For many years Benidorm has welcomed visitors from all over Europe and the new emerging Russian market is also now important for Benidorm. Although for 2011 it only represented1% of the market,  it accounted for over 54,000 visitors and the Russians are classified as high spenders, with an average spend of 120 euros per day according to Juan Angel Ferrer.  With this in mind, the Benidorm Tourist Board have established, on a trial basis, a bilingual customer service hotline for the duration of the high season. This service is available Monday - Saturday 9.30 - 18.00 on 965 082 162 and they have also launched the "Visit Benidorm" website in Russian due to the increasing number of Russian visitors

Eye catching Intempo on Poniente side of benidorm
 Many bar and restaurant employees are learning the basics but the real growth market is in the housing sector - and most estate agents will have a fairly good grasp of the tongue. The Russians are buying up property in the area and are particularly keen on Benidorm and Altea - there is even a Russian Orthodox church at the bottom of Altea Hills, with its golden domes glistening in the sun.The impressive Intempo building which is currently still being constructed in Benidorm is certainly appealing to the Russians and according to one of the sales reps, many of the units have been taken by Russian buyers. Standing at 200 metres and covering 47 floors with its gold cladding, it is the tallest residential building in Spain.  Look around at the advertising hoardings and you will notice more and more adverts in Russian going up - I even saw a taxi with a Russian ad plastered across its side.

Aprox 70% of Russina tourists head to the North East of Spain, namely the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada, but one big pull that the Costa Blanca has over their Catalonian cousins is bullfighting!  The Russians are  fans and enthusiasts of blood sports and particularly keen on bullfighting. Although banned in Catalonia, it is still legal here in the Valencian Community so a big pull for them. In a vain attempt to keep the significant Russian sector, they have established "bloodless" bullfights! The tourists are bussed from the coast to the village of Alfara de Carles where a novice bullfighter will go through the ritual without physically harming the bull and the Russians pay 90€ for the trip!

Press conference in Benidorm to promote the Bullfight
At a press conference in Benidorm yesterday, area councillor Juan Ramon Martinez announced two bullfights that will take place today (17th)  and tomorrow at the Plaza de Torres in the centre of town. Both fights commence at 22.30 and tickets prices are only 10€ for adults and 8€ for children and pensioners. I am sure that you will hear a lot of Russian being spoken there....

Many Russian men have served military service and know how to defend themselves. They will fight first and ask questions later... I think that if any of the peamen or pickpockets have a go at them they´d end up worse for wear - perhaps in the short term it may clear up the problem?

St Petersburg Russian ballet comes to Benidorm

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The world renowned St Petersburg ballet troupe is coming to Benidorm this weekend to perform two of the most famous classical masterpieces :Swan Lake andThe Sleeping Beauty on the stage of Benidorm Palace.They have been invited by the Department of Culture at Benidorm Town Hall. As the Casa de Cultura on the Avd Europa has not been completed they are using the facilities at Benidorm Palace.

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Quote of the day

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Latest Comments

  • The show must go on

    Sarah Herrington 13.08.2020 17:08
    Im booked to come out in 5 weeks snd hope its cancelled, if not then i will have to move it. I ...
     
  • The show must go on

    Liz Falconer 13.08.2020 17:07
    We r hoping to get our holiday in benidorm in Oct hopefully the quarentine is lifted by then
     
  • The show must go on

    Liz Mullan 13.08.2020 17:06
    I had two holidays to benidorm cancelled so it was made impossible for us to go but I've booked ...

BENIDORM IS BACK OPEN!

Remember to always have a mask with you when going out.

ALSA Airport bus - Operating a reduced service to the resort

Benidorm Palace - Open Saturday night only

 

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