The number of Benidorm summer holidays booked by Brits dropped dramatically in January, with Brexit uncertainty blamed as the main reason.

Bookings for summer 2019 are down by 6% so far, but the regional hoteliers’ association Hosbec reported that sales in January fell 15% because of British consumers’ worries about a no-deal Brexit.

The association said only 46,000 packages were sold last month, compared to 54,000 in January 2018.

The Spanish trade has already been preparing for the Brexit woes, and meetings were held with UK tour operators at the Fitur trade show in January to discuss plans.

The association hopes that the market may recover if a Brexit deal is reached, as the capacity on airlines flying to Alicante remains the same or slightly above last year’s levels.

Hoteliers and local tourism bosses are planning marketing campaigns for March and April to boost sales “once the situation of uncertainty has been resolved after March 29”.