Benidorm Protest March Update: Over a 1000 attend to protest nightlife restrictions

Following on from our report this morning on the successful rally to protest to the Town Hall about new stricter measures, here is an update on the event.
The AICO (Independent Association of Merchants of Benidorm and Province), Abreca (Association of bars, restaurants and cafeterias of Benidorm) and Ociobal ​​(Association of leisure venues and discos of Benidorm) demonstrated today in Benidorm on the Costa Blanca to protest about the decision made by the health authorities to restrict nightlife and request  measures to help relaunch the local tourism sector.

The city’s hotel, leisure and trade associations left Avenida de Europa at 11 this morning and from there they went to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where they read a manifesto calling for justice for tourism in Benidorm, one of the most populated cities in the Marina Baixa area. The statement was read jointly by the three convening associations in front of the Town Hall. The event was closed by the President of the Hospitality Industry of Spain, José Luis Yzuel.

In the manifesto they called for a series of measures in various areas. In labor matters, they have requested that the ERTEs for workers in the tourism sector and commerce be extended until March 15, 2021, that business contributions to Social Security for the tourism sectors be subsidized and the application of tourist vouchers that promote tourism internally. Also, in the manifesto, the organizers have advocated applying “specific measures” according to the reality of each area “and not for reports of dubious quality issued by a committee of experts of uncertain origin”.

While in the social sphere, the convening associations have demanded that corridors of safe tourist destinations be strengthened through “promotional campaigns for the enjoyment of national and international tourism.” For this, they consider it “essential” to implement rapid tests at airports and other landing areas. Likewise, they have requested that safe destinations be recognized and the measures for those who prove they are safer are more flexible.

In addition, in the health sector, the protesters have requested the provision of PPE to all health personnel and those linked to the country’s Health care. Finally, in economic matters, they ask for non-refundable aid for fixed rental costs for commercial premises, the reduction of IVA for hotel and restaurant services and renegotiating the two-year losses in financial operations related to tourist business activity .

The representatives of the organizing associations have stated that at this point in the summer “millions of people” have passed through Benidorm and the contagion rates have been “extraordinarily low”, which shows “that things have been done well”.

This is stated by the president of Abreca, Javier del Castillo, who assures that “infection in the leisure industry is 14% and in private homes it is 40%”.

A statement corroborated by Raúl Parra de Aico. For him, “when decisions are made at the national level, they must be agreed with the sectors, something that we believe is not happening and should be. There is a health crisis but economic factors must also be taken into account.”

This was also reflected by Víctor Navarro de Ociobal, who stated that “we believe that this is going to last longer than the 21 days that the Generalitata said. There is uncertainty on this matter.”

After the march, which has been carried out with all the relevant security measures, the mayor of the city, Toni Pérez, has met with the representatives of the organizing entities to know first-hand their requests, in relation to the latest measures dictated by the health authorities. The Mayor highlighted the success of the organization and the “exemplary behavior in the demonstration, which at all times have shown scrupulous respect for health safety and hygiene measures.”

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