Benidorm tourism chiefs have reacted angrily to a report in the Sun yesterday claiming that the resort is being abandoned by British holidaymakers.
The tabloid reported that ‘Benidoom’, as it dubbed the resort, was fast becoming a 'pit of depression and despair'.
The dream of a life abroad has turned into a nightmare for many expats with the Spanish economy in freefall, according to the newspaper.
But Benidorm’s tourism department responded by citing a summer trends report by Trivago showing that Spain topped the list of the most popular holiday destinations for July and August and that Benidorm remains the top resort choice for UK holidaymakers, welcoming 1.5 million visitors a year.
Tourism director Yolanda Pickett Fernandez said: "UK visitor numbers to Benidorm grow year on year and we are very proud that Benidorm remains number one on the list of best-selling destinations in Spain for the UK.
“While Spain and indeed the whole of Europe has of course felt the effects of the global recession, Benidorm's reputation as a unique, accessible and excellent value resort remains unparalleled.
“We have a very high percentage of guests who return year after year to enjoy five world-class theme parks, three award-winning beaches and year-round sunshine, helping it fare better than many other resorts."
While Spanish visitors are slightly down on last year, the number of British guests has actually risen this year.
Hotel bookings for June 2012 were up 2% on last year and up 14% for all-inclusive properties, according to statistics from the Hotel Association for Benidorm and the Costa Blanca.
Fernandez said: "Only last week we had ITV's 'This Morning' doing live broadcasts from the resort, filming on beaches, hotels and interviewing guests as well as cast members of the TV show 'Benidorm' stating how much they loved and enjoyed the resort and the special atmosphere we work very hard to create here.
"We are now hitting peak season and the resort is certainly very busy. We have a huge programme of events underway for the summer season, including headlining music festivals, shows, and fiestas offering a superb range of entertainment for all."
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