The figures from the shops are not at all positive. The president of the association of traders in Benidorm (Aico), Raul Parra, believes that from September, about 50% of shops will close, and estimates that the vast majority will do so permanently. As explained Parra, the city and its business network is structured after so many years to meet a mass tourism, something that with the pandemic by the covid-19 has ceased to exist in the municipality, and therefore, there are not so many customers for the 1,500 shops.
After a summer where the business figures are at rock bottom, and with an autumn that is complicated by the impossibility of starting up the Imserso, the president of Aico estimates that half of the businesses will take the decision to close, some until Easter, and others forever. This will leave a totally unprecedented panorama, in accordance with the situation that is being experienced in the world, and that would translate into a city that is only halfway there.
As always, Parra differentiates between two types of companies: the traditional ones, which drink more from the residents, and the ones that focus on the tourist. The former will be the ones that hold out a little longer, while the sector dedicated to travelers will be more touched and will be the protagonist of most of the closures.
“From the Europa Avenue to the Loix Corner, tourist businesses are at a minimum. Maybe 20% of them are open, of which may be making a box of 5% compared to what would be a normal summer,” said Parra. On the other hand, there is the traditional one, which is located more in the center of the city and estimates that it could be reaching an activity of 50% during the weekends, when more customers attend.
The turnover is therefore being much more negative than it can stand, which would cause these massive closures, according to the appreciation of Parra. Added to this are various factors, such as the fact that the owners of the premises are not willing to negotiate in many cases when it comes to reducing or suspending the payment of rent.
The public administrations have launched some initiatives to alleviate the crisis that is approaching, which will have to face the numerous dismissals that will arrive as this situation is confirmed. But for the representative of the traders, it is not being enough to avoid this bleeding, at the expense of what may happen in August, but knowing that they have already lost three months completely.
Nevertheless, Parra asks that the economic aids – that will not serve to improve the situation of the industralists according to his thesis – are invested in promotion campaigns to attract tourists, since he says that “a thousand euros is not going to solve anything to each one of us, what we need is clients”.
That is why he called for initiatives aimed at shopping tourism, the creation of an Imserso for young people, or a Christmas campaign that begins on November 1 and with activities that impress, putting the example of the lights of Vigo for those dates. However, all of this is under the protection of a security system that prevents the spread of the virus and further contagion.
Author: Alba Mercader, Alicante Plaza