You may have wondered why Benidorm is currently one of the most famous tourist cities in Spain and on the Costa Blanca. A tourist destination like this doesn’t appear overnight so if you would like to discover the history of Benidorm, read on!
The start of change
Initially, Benidorm was a fishing town and its economy depended greatly on this activity. In 1953, the Racó de l’Oix tuna fishery closed and the city’s economic transformation began. The city’s mayor at the time, Pedro Zaragoza Orts, recognised the need to alter the city’s economic model and approved a new urban landscaping plan that sought to create a city based on tourism and leisure.
Interesting facts about the history of Benidorm
In order to convert the city, more needed to be done than a simple change in the economic model. Investment was required to begin construction on what would be the first resorts and hotels, the majority of which came from families in the city. Furthermore, in order to raise awareness of the city numerous strategies and advertisements were devised.
Activities organised included the Benidorm International Festival of Song, between 1959 and 2006. This event took place every summer and its aim was to promote the city of Benidorm as a tourist destination nationally and internationally.
Bearing in mind that Spanish society at the time was less modern than European society, the arrival of tourism brought about many changes. These include the introduction of the bikini by French tourists who visited Benidorm’s beaches in summer. This item of clothing caused a huge stir although it would come to be considered something normal in time.
The most conservative part of Spanish society saw the change in the city as a shift towards sin and bad habits. As such, a large cross was erected at the top of the Serra Gelada Mountains to try to remedy this, so here’s the answer if you’ve ever wondered how the Benidorm Cross came about!
The city continues growing
The city continued to grow, and with the opening of L’Altet Airport in 1967 tourist demand for the city increased exponentially. This event was a huge development in the history of Benidorm.
Taking advantage of the boom and the huge tourist demand of the 70s, new and more modern hotels were constructed, with one of them being Hotel Don Pancho. This luxury, four-star hotel was built in 1972 by the Torrubia brothers.
The city’s good weather, the excellent quality/price ratio of its hotels and services, and its proximity thanks to air travel did the job, with the result in the 90s being that Benidorm was well-known as a holiday destination. To improve tourism options in the city, multiple new features were introduced. These included the creation of the first water park in Spain, Aqualandia.
In the history of Benidorm the progressive construction of several golf courses is also notable, as is renovation of the Levante beach promenade. With it, the city as we know it emerged. Over time, Benidorm has taken on new activities little by little to become the leading holiday city on the Costa Blanca. But the history of Benidorm doesn’t stop here. Its future looks very bright!
Make sure you form a part of it. Come and visit us!