The clock is tick­ing

Costa Levante News - - ABOUT TOWN -

It has just about been 450 days since the ref­er­en­dum vote, when the UK voted to leave the Euro­pean Union, and only an­other 560 un­til Brexit, which takes place on March 29, 2019… there is even a count­down clock, show­ing days, hours, min­utes and sec­onds, avail­able on Google!

Jean-Claude Juncker, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent, has al­ready called for a sum­mit in Ro­ma­nia to take place on March 30, 2019 – the first day of an EU with 27 mem­bers in­stead of the cur­rent 28… un­til Turkey join, who are chomp­ing at the bit to get into the ‘club’. But all is not well there – the EU are tak- ing le­gal pro­ceed­ings against Poland and Hun­gary for re­fus­ing to take in a sin­gle asy­lum seeker and the Czech Repub­lic, who only ac­cepted a dozen, since Ger­many’s An­gela Merkel opened the flood gates and cre­ated an im­mi­gra­tion tsunami.

This is pre­cisely the rea­son many Brits voted to leave the EU – the un­sus­tain­able mi­grant cri­sis which is at break­ing point in the UK. It is wrong to say those who voted leave are racist as many Bri­tish im­mi­grants also voted for Brexit. Many of those ar­riv­ing by boat are ob­vi­ously eco­nomic mi­grants, ini­tially the des­ti­na­tion was ei­ther Greece or Italy, but now the Span­ish shores are reg­u­larly wit­ness­ing over­crowded boats wash­ing up on the Costas. Ar­rivals in Spain have rock­eted by 60 per cent this year alone and most are young males, trav­el­ling alone which opens up an en­tire host of is­sues re­lat­ing to ter­ror­ism, very high on the cur­rent agenda across Europe.

For us ex­pats liv­ing here, what does the fu­ture hold? – it’s the mil­lion dol­lar ques­tion. All that Bri­tish pen­sion­ers can say with cer­tainty is that their pen­sions have shrunk with the spi­ralling ex­change rate. Will we see par­ity this year? Very pos­si­bly.

I have spo­ken to many who have said that they would cer­tainly need to re­con­sider if they could af­ford to con­tinue liv­ing here if the ex­change re­mains weak. The cost of hol­i­days here to Benidorm will also be far more ex­pen­sive and travel fo­rums are al­ready full of re­marks that ho­tels prices have rock­eted con­sid­er­ably for next year, lead­ing many to seek al­ter­na­tive des­ti­na­tions, which of­fer bet­ter value for money.

Both Turkey and Bul­garia ap­pear to be of­fer­ing far more com­pet­i­tive prices, which would be dis­as­trous for our econ­omy here. Benidorm is sus­tained pri­mar­ily by the tourism in­dus­try. Ho­tels, of which there are hun­dreds, can­not sur­vive with­out the Bri­tish, who out­num­ber any and ev­ery na­tion­al­ity by miles. Granted Au­gust is Span­ish month, when do­mes­tic tourists from the cities flock here but they do not spend the money. I have heard many sto­ries how they will sit in a club for the en­tire evening and share, yes share, a drink be­tween two.

It is the many Brits who pre­dom­i­nantly visit the bars and clubs along Calle Gerona and in The Square, spend­ing an ab­so­lute for­tune in them. Still more ap­pear to be open­ing, hop­ing to cash in, but the re­al­ity is the well will even­tu­ally run dry.

The tourism sec­tor needs to con­tinue pro­mot­ing it­self across the UK to re­main prom­i­nent in peo­ple’s minds but in­stead, it is look­ing at other mar­ginal mar­kets such as In­dia!

There is a busi­ness del­e­ga­tion of agents from In­dia here, or­ga­nized by the Va­len­cian tourist agency. They are be­ing shown the likes of the Melia Vil­lai­tana and Asia Gar­dens ho­tel com­plexes to host busi­ness trips - that is great, but one thing is cer­tain, they will not be in­ter­ested in pop­ping down to the Rin­con to go club­bing, or par­ty­ing with the stag and hen groups so pro­lific ev­ery week­end. Yes, the rowdy ones who cause prob­lems on flights with their drunken be­hav­iour are not so kindly looked upon, even by their fel­low pas­sen­gers. How­ever, sadly, it must be said that they are a nec­es­sary evil for many busi­nesses here. The air­line in­dus­try need to jointly ad­dress drink­ing al­co­hol on flights, for starters it is a safety is­sue. But will it hap­pen? – Re­al­is­ti­cally, prof­its dic­tate it won’t in my opin­ion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Spain

© PressReader. All rights reserved.