Park in midsummer in the streets of Benidorm it is practically impossible. But also, doing it with the tourist season started makes it even more complicated. For this reason, local commerce and hospitality businesses demanded an initiative to favor consumption in the city center that resulted in offering one hour of free parking in public car parks (privately managed) if more than 20 euros were spent in establishments . And it seems that the campaign has “curdled”: in a month, about 600 drivers have benefited from this discount.
The “Benidorm closer” campaign started on June 5 and includes four privately managed public car parks and one private car park owned by a company.
The bell «Benidorm closer» It started on June 5 and includes four privately managed public car parks and one private car park owned by a company. Specifically, whats l’Aigüera, Tomás Ortuño, Mercado and Ametlla del Mar car parks, as well as Ruzafa; all located in the main areas of influx of visitors: the urban center and the Rincón de Loix. In total, 1,500 places for those users who came from other neighborhoods, from municipalities in the Marina Baixa or from the province.
The parking time is obtained by presenting at the entrance the ticket confirming the consumption of more than 20 euros in shops, bars, cafes, restaurants or entertainment venues in Benidorm. Everything to promote consumption, especially in local businesses and alleviate the lack of parking in the municipality since many streets were pedestrianized, especially the center, or the residents’ area was launched where only neighbors can park registered.
In the month that it has been running, according to the data that this newspaper has had access to, about 600 vehicles have benefited from this discount in the car parks. Of these, only the most central car parks such as l’Aigüera and Ruzafa have had a movement of 400 cars. However, the largest influx has occurred from Thursday to Sunday, coinciding with the weekend, especially the first of July with the start of the holidays for many.
The Councilor for Mobility, José Ramón González de Zárate, explained to this newspaper that “car parks like l’Aigüera have had more than 250 cars that have taken part in this campaign,” especially at the weekend.
The invoices presented by consumers for the free hour have averaged 100 euros; the highest amount, 369 euros.
But, in what types of establishments have drivers bought? Well, 70% of the tickets that have been presented to get that free hour of parking have been from local businesses of all kinds. The rest, in hotel establishments in the center of Benidorm. Besides, the Average stay of the vehicles in the car parks has been 2 hours and 10 minutes; of that time, the first hour has not had to be paid by the drivers.
The initiative also aimed to promote consumption in the city. And although they are not absolute figures, the data collected from those who have submitted their purchase invoices are also positive. Thus, the average spending of consumers who have made use of this discount in parking lots has been 100 euros in local businesses. In addition, the highest amount presented this month has been 369 euros, figures that the mayor of the area pointed out that they are “very good” for shops and hotels and that reflect that there has been significant consumption.
“Very positive” data
For the sector, the first data that emerged from the start-up of «Benidorm nearer» aren “very positive”, according to the president of Aico (Benidorm Merchants Association), Raul Parra, above all, “for the objective that we pursue, which is that the people of the region come to the city.”
Launching initiatives to attract the attention of consumers and not to go to other neighboring municipalities to buy or consume was one of the requests of the city’s tourism sector after a difficult year. For this reason, the main associations presented to the City Council a battery of proposals to improve mobility, including facilitating parking.
“Anything that is adding is very good,” said the head of Aico who indicated that “to see if the progression continues and the figures increase.” However, he stressed that “word of mouth is very important” to continue attracting consumers. But in addition, the campaign has been physically transferred to other municipalities to attract the attention of visitors. But it won’t stop there. Knowing where to park when you enter Benidorm is also pending. And it is that directional signs will be installed that will mark the route from the main entrances to Benidorm to the car parks attached to the initiative.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.