The pound in your pocket…

The pound has dipped under €1.20 in the local ‘no commission’ exchange places, not good news for visitors.

The beginning of September means parking has become an easy task once more as the Spanish tourists have all gone back to work. There are no official figures out yet, but what sort of summer has it been?

Busy, yes, but less so than last year and nowhere near the level of even two years ago. Many shops that traditionally stayed open very late, on Sundays or even through the siesta period, didn’t bother, or didn’t see the necessity, this year.

A strong euro and economic crises have obviously had an effect. Through observation and talking to local business people, the general consensus is a downturn of 40% – 60% on last year as far as trade goes. Visitor numbers may be down, but not by that much. They just weren’t spending, or not spending as much as in previous years.

We had an inkling of this from reports from the UK where holidaymakers were anticipating spending the same amount on their holiday as they had done the previous year. That meant an automatic 20% – 30% less for the businesses over here.

Comments such as ‘disaster’ and ‘clinging to the lifeboat by the fingernails’ were not ones you ever heard, until now. It is also the first time I have ever heard a Spanish restaurant owner actually describe the situation as ‘bad’…

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