BENIDORM is aiming to fill the gap left by British holidaymakers with Russians, as tourism leaders pledge: “We have no intention of throwing in the towel!”.

Russian tourists have been missing since March 27th when, as a result of the pandemic, the borders of the Russian Federation were closed and commercial flights linking the two countries were suspended.

Benidorm is aiming to fill the gap left by British holidaymakers with Russians

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Benidorm is aiming to fill the gap left by British holidaymakers with RussiansCredit: Getty – Contributor

But according to tourism chiefs at the resort, the return of Russian tourists to Spain is imminent.

A message from the local council said: “Today, competing destinations such as Turkey have already started receiving Russian tourists.

“For this reason and looking to the near future, the Visit Benidorm Foundation has resumed promotional actions in this market in order to take a position in the face of a return to normality.”

Benidorm is now going to be touted as a top holiday destination at big Russian events, including the Kremlin Tennis Cup, and the tourist board is holding talks with tour operators.

While Brits were welcomed back to Spain mid-June, the country was removed from the UK’s safe list after a spike in coronavirus cases.

Tourists were given just four hours notice, with non-essential travel now banned and a mandatory two-week quarantine in place when returning to the UK.

According to tourism chiefs at the resort, the return of Russian tourists to Spain is imminent

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According to tourism chiefs at the resort, the return of Russian tourists to Spain is imminentCredit: Getty – Contributor

As airlines also stop flights and holidays, Benidorm has seen huge losses and cancellations.

Latest figures from the hotel association, Hosbec Benidorm show that Benidorm has started September with a massive drop in average hotel occupancy to 39 per cent,  a 12 per cent drop compared to the last week of August.

The association says that because of this “uncertain horizon” and absence of international tourism, hotels are having to close their doors.

The Costa Blanca also predicts a gloomy autumn, and Valencia expects hotel occupancy to drop to 27 per cent in September due to the lack of international tourists.

Some hotels in Benidorm opened for less than a week before being forced to shut again.

The four-star Rio Park Hotel, which is normally packed at the moment with 70 per cent of Brits on package holidays, has decided to shut just six days after opening.

Rio Park hotel director Miguel Angel Correa told local paper Informacion: “We opened on Saturday morning and a few hours later the UK announced it was removing Spain from its list of safe countries.

“The same day several groups of British holidaymakers checked in but they were the first and the last.”

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