BUSINESS owners in the popular shopping area of Avenida Maisonnave in Alicante haven’t seen any significant increase in their Sunday trading during the Volvo Ocean Race, despite being given special dispensation to open.
Those traders consulted said that their sales were considerably low, with some remarking that they have taken more money during a ‘normal’ Sunday, without the added bonus of tens of thousands of extra visitors in the city.
One sales clerk who works in a textile outlet on the Maisonnave said that in the first 90 minutes of trading they didn’t take a single euro.
Another who runs a shop selling clothes and shoes regretted reorganising all the shift schedules around the Sunday opening hours and commented that there were lots of window shoppers and had probably spent all their money during the previous week’s holiday.
The frustration of the business people was exacerbated as groups representing traders had agreed to close on the previous Thursday in exchange for being allowed to open on both Sundays (15 and 22) while the Volvo Ocean Race is in town.
According to data supplied by Alicante port authorities, 63,986 visited the Race Village during the first Saturday and a further 10,000 were estimated to be watching the first regatta made up of 300 boats from the Paseo Volado.
This forthcoming weekend will see the maximum influx of visitors alongside in increased presence of national and international media as the race proper gets underway. Traders in the Maisonnave hope that some of those extras make their way into their premises and by doing so back up their gamble on fighting the authorities to allow Sunday opening for the event.