THE war of the free excursions has broken out on the beaches of Benidorm.
This summer has seen an increase in the number of people attempting to attract tourists to visit the island of Tabarca, and they’re doing everything possible to get them on their trips, even by offering them completely free…almost!
From mid-morning, the chants of “Free trips to Tabarca!” can be heard across the Playa Levante accompanied by a man distributing leaflets and brochures promoting the trip for the next day.
The day-trippers will be treated to a bus ride from Benidorm to the boat, a free breakfast and lunch, and a tour around the all that the increasingly popular island off the coast of Alicante can offer. In return, and this where the ‘almost free’ kicks in, travellers will only have to pay €10 for the boat trip.
This has caused consternation among a number of people as the word ‘free’ is repeated in large lettering throughout the brochure, but a search of the small print reveals otherwise. In addition, part of the ‘deal’ is for the tourists to listen to a sponsor’s demonstration and encourage purchases from them.
According to reports, many of these excursions are organised by illegal companies and in any case such distributing advertising material is prohibited by a number of local by-laws.
Juanjo Perez Parker, President of the Association of Travel Agencies in Benidorm (AVIBE), has demanded tough action be taken. “We cannot tolerate these people making money by deceiving tourists and taking customers away from guides and companies that are legal,” he said.
All aboard the Skylark!