Why are the numbers of British falling?

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Spain is welcoming less British tourists to our very own coastal resort of Benidorm as UK holidaymakers are choosing to travel to Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia instead.

In September, hotel and apartment occupancy fell from 93.6% in 2017 to 91.5% this year. However, the fall in the British market has been somewhat compensated by the rise in the Spanish market, which has risen to a 42.1% occupation rate, especially in Poniente and the Old Town.

Even so, Hosbec (Benidorm's hotel association), is expecting to record half a million less stays in 2018 compared to last year. They say that the cause of this loss of occupancy is reflected in the behaviour of the British market. Fewer flights are now operating from the UK to access Benidorm than in previous years so consequently fewer tourists can travel, as airlines choose to put on more flights to burgeoning popular destinations. For instance, last September there were 346,000 seats available from UK cities compared to 319,000 seats this year, a fall of 27,000 in just one month.

The route that has suffered the most is from Manchester, which saw a drop of 12,026 available seats (this, from an area that has always been one of the most popular routes to Benidorm).

The president of Hosbec, Toni Mayor, says the key markets for them in 2019 (as the UK leaves Europe) are Portugal, France, Ireland and Italy.

So why are the Brits now looking farther afield than Spain? The massive fall of the lira has meant more people are looking at Turkey. Thomas Cook has announced a 63% increase in bookings there. The Turkish airport of Antalya has even overtaken Palma de Mallorca as the travel company's most served airport for its customers, with 57 flights per week to Palma's 41. They also reveal that Egypt and Tunisia are experiencing booking booms as safety travel restrictions are lifted.

So it looks like, all in all, it comes down to the plight of the pound's poor showing against the euro. Can Benidorm really sustain its "cheap as chips" image in competition with currencies in meltdown? Personally, I believe it can. It has an amazing following and there is just nowhere in the world like it - the atmosphere cannot be copied and it really is a very unique place. Come on fellow Brits, carry on flocking to your favourite holiday destination and keep the town alive!

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