A hotel owner from Alicante has SENSATONALLY revealed that prices during school holidays are vastly inflated due to the expansion of Southend Airport in April 2012 – Easyjet flights to a number of popular Spanish locations started on this date. According to Manuel Hamard at the Hotel Dos Hows in Alicante, the sudden boost in family visitors from South Essex made his all-inclusive business model ‘virtually impossible’ to maintain, and like all other hotels in the area he was forced to raise his prices during school holiday periods in the UK.
Mr Hamard invited our Chief Reporter to visit his property in the Tossa Del Londo resort to see the evidence first-hand. He said: ‘While there were only flights from the traditional London airports, we could afford to keep our prices at roughly the same level throughout the year. However, as soon as guests started arriving from Southend, Basildon, Rayleigh and those sorts of areas, school holidays became a financial nightmare. Guests were knocking back triple vodkas and pints of extra-strong lager before they had even started unpacking, and their parents were joining in as well.’
He added: ‘Apparently our organised kids activities were too ‘sporty’, and so most parents just left their kids to wander aimlessly around the hotel while they consumed heaps of alcohol. We have contacts in Southend who tell us that they do the same thing most weekends by giving their kids 50p to spend in eight hours at the amusement arcades while they get bladdered in The Hope Hotel, so we have had to adjust our prices accordingly. Even the kids who don’t drink alcohol have become a real issue by drinking 10 litres of full-sugar Coca Cola every day and smashing up our communal areas. When one parent left us a 1-star rating on Tripadvisor for not having the Sky World Family Pack with Sports and Movies in every room, that was the final straw.’
Alicante’s Minister for Tourism Pedro Da Bedro emailed Southend News Network to say that the South Essex problem stretches far beyond alcohol abuse. He said: ‘Alcohol is just the thin end of the iceberg in Alicante. We have been forced to impose a local tax of 5% on all hotel visits from Essex guests to fund a shortfall in local hospital finances. For example, last year a lady from the Thundesserly went sunbathing on her first day and managed to weld herself to her sun lounger. You just can’t make budgeting forecasts for that advanced level of stupid.’