British Expats in Spain who operate businesses on Spain’s Costa Del Sol & Costa Blanca feel the Spanish Prime Minister has ‘thrown them under the bus’
As news broke yesterday of the Prime Minister’s tourism speech which basically ‘wrote off’ the summer holiday season in Spain, British ex-pats who have moved to Spain for a new life in the sun, operating businesses, feel the PM Sanchez has ‘thrown them under the bus’.
Whilst many are in denial of his comments, with others feeling they have been misconstrued, it doesn’t appear to matter either way as the word has quickly spread throughout Europe.
The national press today has been running headlines such as ‘Holiday Makers Banned From Spain for summer’ which already is seeing a drastic effect on Spain’s reputation for a good holiday in 2021.
Those British Expat business operators who survived 2020 as Spain’s tourism sector collapsed, feel the comments and headlines will finish off hundreds if not thousands of businesses owned by the British across Spain’s Costa del Sol & Costa Blanca that are left currently still standing.
Michael Irwin, who operates a bar and restaurant in Spain’s Valencia region, this morning told Global247news:
“We have been thrown completely under the bus by the Spanish Prime Minister, his words whether they are correct or not doesn’t matter now, the damage is done.
“There was no need to say what he did when he did, but what he has done has signed the death warrant for British operations here, hundreds if not thousands will simply run out of funds, most are borrowing and living off what savings are left in the pot at present, last year finished off many of the ‘new starter businesses who were less established.
“This now will finish off the more established, no business can operate without a volume of customers, we didn’t have any last year and all the hope was on this Summer – but he’s just ‘written that off’ along with the media.
” The Spanish government has been playing it crafty, they have totally restricted our hours of trading, whilst placing us under heavy restrictions and our little customer flow from locals, without closing us down until now, to avoid paying us ‘compensation’ and now in this region, where we have just been forced to close – they hit us with this bombshell.
“No doubt they won’t leave us closed for Summer though, but they have ‘blown away’ any potential customers that we could have looked forward to, we can’t survive on locals, many Brit’s have moved back due to Brexit as it is, the British local population is dwindling, areas are seeing the French and people from Belgium buying up the British properties around here.
“To put it bluntly we appear to be doomed” he finished.
The sentiment appears to be correct, talking to British travel agents, who since the large headlines have seen a dramatic turn of events regards Spanish bookings.
Travel agent Leigh James from ‘ A World In Motion’ told how the headlines have seen what bookings travel agents had be reversed overnight, he told us this morning:
“As soon as the British news ran the stories today, picking up on the news from Spain – the phone calls and emails came in, whilst despite some reports that I had read about so-called Spanish bookings being at a high, something we haven’t seen for sure, those who have booked are now wishing to change destinations, this is a disaster for Spain I feel.
” I’ve read in some quarters of Spain that the Prime Ministers’ comments have been taken out of context but the damage is done, talking to other agents from various companies this morning, they are in exactly the same position, this is a PR nightmare for Spain.
” If the PM didn’t mean what he’s claimed to have said, he needs to clarify the situation straight away, because this will potentially destroy British owned businesses, I was talking just this morning to an associate who takes apartment bookings in Benidorm, this morning has cost him €56,000 in cancellations already and he expects that to rise quickly throughout the day,” he said.
On Spain’s Costa del Sol, feelings today are also running high, whilst many appear to be in denial of the published comments.
Bar owner Kevin Wilson in Estepona said: ” If true it’s a nightmare – but so much is said around these parts you just don’t know what to believe at present, personally I think it’s media hype, looking for the story, I haven’t seen anything on the Spanish news, but there again it’s apparently come from the PM this time – we knew it was going to be the greatest summer ever, but there was the hope of a steady one at least, now this news has broken Costa del Sol could become ‘Costa del Shanty’ – it could take years to recover.”
The news though even for British citizens who don’t operate businesses fear the worst, Mikey Burgess in Spain’s Benidorm highlighted on his popular social media channels in the region,
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