Friday, May 27

The fear of ómicron reduces pedestrian travel through the cities of Alicante by a third


Pedestrian traffic and road traffic in Alicante have fallen by 30% in recent weeks in Alicante, according to taxi drivers, shopkeepers and hoteliers, data that is also confirmed by municipal sources and that, at first glance, can be seen in the large number of free spaces in the central car parks on weekends. Once the Christmas holidays are over and the sales have started, the economic sectors perceive less movement and little influx of public, which they attribute to the fear of covid due to the explosion of coronavirus cases due to the speed of omicron in this sixth wave .

The sick leave caused by the increase in positives and the forced isolation at home also influence the fact that there is less traffic on the streets, as well as the fact that university students are taking exams, and do not have to travel to the Campus to attend classes. .

The general impression that there is less traffic had exceptions on the day that the children returned to school after the Christmas holidays and the first day of the sales, but later the tendency to stay more at home and leave the car parked recovered again. The lack of customers is suffered, and a lot, by taxi drivers. “There has been a noticeable decrease in traffic on the streets, and in our work”explains Francisco Sánchez, president of RadioTeletaxi, an association that represents more than 90% of these professionals. This guild suffered the massive cancellation of reservations by travelers who had arranged pick-up services for company Christmas dinners and clients for New Year’s Eve, and the start of the year has not been better. «We have already had two years of exceptional Christmases. If we talk about the last one that was normal, that of 2019, we are in 35% or 40% less races, and instead our fuel costs skyrocket. We work at a loss in many services.

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In the case of trade, more of the same. «With this omicron, the clientele has been decreasing. The New Year was a failure and the week of Kings very few people were noticed. Since then it has been criminal, it seems that we are confined again, there are no people on the street, ”says Juan Utrera, president of the association Más que Centro. «People have become afraid of ómicron. They do not consume, they go from home to work, and from school to home. So far this year we have added 30% more losses. You just have to walk around the center and it’s empty.

Similar is the situation of small stores near Maisonnave despite being in the environment of shopping centers and franchises. «The uncertainty we are experiencing makes sensible people think about what is going to happen in the coming months and spend first on food and on their home before on clothes. There is much less public on the street and the sales this year are not going to be the manna, “says Rafael Estañ, president of the Association of Merchants of Maisonnave and Adyacentes. «We have lived well for 40 years and now it is time to think with common sense. We are in a moment of change», affirms Estañ, who affirms that many small stores have seen their business drop between 50% and 80% compared to the pre-pandemic.

It doesn’t just happen in Alicante. Raúl Parra, from the Benidorm merchants, points out that the forecast for January and February is not optimistic unless the British client returns. remembered that last year around this time the business sank 50% although in his case he perceives somewhat less fear of the virus thanks to vaccination.

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The hotel industry faces the first months of the year with skepticism and little public, especially at night. If during the day the influx of customers is also 30% less than usual at this time of year, once it gets dark the activity is 60% below normal a month of January before covid, which already It was tough after Christmas spending. “At night you don’t even see cats on the streets,” says César Anca, president of the Alicante Restaurant Association (ARA). Small downtown merchants point out that with the high incidence of covid and the cold “people do not go out in the afternoon, they stay at home.” There is some business in the mornings, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Vicente Armengol, president of Corazón de Alicante, points out that “the drop in foreign tourism has also been noted due to the situation with the omicron variant, with last-minute cancellations.” Only the municipal markets face the situation with some optimism because with the confinements they have recovered home delivery, after some parties with sales for Christmas Eve as before the pandemic and 15% more for New Year’s Eve, according to Francisco Aleman, president of the association of dealers.

The hotel industry notes 60% less people on the street at night

Traders claim that they only make some cash in the mornings and that the afternoons are dead


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The hotel industry faces the first months of the year with skepticism and little public, especially at night. If during the day the influx of customers is also 30% less than usual at this time of year, once it gets dark the activity is 60% below normal a month of January before covid, which already It was tough after Christmas spending. “At night you don’t even see cats on the streets,” says César Anca, president of the Alicante Restaurant Association (ARA). Small downtown merchants point out that with the high incidence of covid and the cold “people do not go out in the afternoon, they stay at home.” There is some business in the mornings, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Vicente Armengol, president of Corazón de Alicante, points out that “The drop in foreign tourism has also been noted due to the situation with the omicron variant, with last-minute cancellations”. Only the municipal markets face the situation with some optimism because with the confinements they have recovered home delivery, after some parties with sales for Christmas Eve as before the pandemic and 15% more for New Year’s Eve, according to Francisco Aleman, president of the association of dealers.

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