After a catastrophic year due to the pandemic, Alicante restaurants have good forecasts for the holidays this week with an increase in reserves of 40% and that the Bonfires are canceled and only minor acts are held. The hotels will register an average hotel occupancy of 65% between establishments in the city and Playa de San Juan; and large businesses are confident of making cash on the local holiday of June 23, the opening day for which they calculate up to 30% more influx compared to a normal holiday and a boost to sales. However, the employers of the sector subject the return to figures prior to the pandemic to boost foreign tourism.
Large stores will close on the 24th, festival of Sant Joan, exception that is contemplated in the agreement of opening of the zone of great tourist affluence, like the markets and most of the proximity stores. It is a recoverable holiday, so for many workers it will be handy for labor purposes.
The hospitality industry, which has suffered so much from sanitary restrictions, faces the week with positive prospects. “The forecasts are quite good. People are being encouraged to go out and celebrate the ‘no Bonfires’. At this point we have 40% more reserves than last year, “he says. César Anca, President of the Alicante Restaurant Association (ARA).
In the same line, Mar Valera, President of the Alicante Province Hospitality Business Federation (Fehpa), points out that «the forecast is good although on the 24th, being a recoverable regional holiday, many people work. However, the increase in airplanes to the airport is showing the growth of tourism.
Regarding accommodation, the Provincial Association of Hotels has sounded the occupancy forecast for the week in which the Bonfires were to be held and the average of the establishments that have responded to the survey shows 65%. For Alicante, in the week of Sant Joan it is expected to reach 50.15%. It will be the worst data of the Bonfire days since 2015, when the hotels filled 83.72% of the places. In Playa de San Juan, 79.02% is expected, when the weakest year in Bonfires, according to the records of the Provincial Association of Hotels, was 2014 with 82.93%. In spite of everything, these data show a recovery compared to 2019, when there were no reservations due to limitations on travel through the covid.
Hoteliers miss the Bonfires as a factor to attract customers in June, “a month that if it is not for the holidays the business does not move in Alicante”, says the hotel president, Victoria Puche. «It is a catastrophic forecast for June to be around 50% occupancy in the city. Apart from the fact that the average price has gone down and it will cost to go up until it reaches the one we had in 2019. The client that filled the hotels is the international one and now there is only 5%, and there are no school holidays either. Without Bonfires Alicante does not move in June, that attraction factor is missed ». For July the sector remains in the same forecasts, 50% during the week, and 70% from Friday to Sunday, «but taking the numbers with caution. There is a lot of offer and there is no national tourism to fill everything since it is distributed throughout Spain. British tourism, which accounts for 40% on the Costa Blanca, has disappeared at a stroke and there are thousands of beds and accommodation reservations.
Shopping centers expect 30% more traffic for the local holiday on June 23 compared to a normal holiday. “Taking into account that there are two holidays and we close on June 24, we believe that people will be encouraged to come to the trade,” they explain from The English Court.
«What does it mean that June 24 is a recoverable regional holiday?
This year on Thursday, saint john’s day, is considered a regional holiday by the Consell, but “recoverable”. This means that workers will have to recover that holiday, number 15 this year for Alicante, agreeing with their companies. The Generalitat can only declare a limit of holidays per year and in 2021 it prefers other dates such as holidays, for example, March 19, April 5 (Easter Monday) and October 9. The City Council and the Bonfires claim that Sant Joan is a 100% regional holiday although the foguerers value as recognition of the tourist attraction of the Bonfires the consideration of June 24 as a holiday throughout the Community for three years.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.