The Spanish resort of Benidorm wasn’t always the thriving holiday hotspot that it is today.
Before the 1960s it was a sleepy village, nestled under the massive Puig Campana Mountain.
So what changed this little community into the capital of beach holidays?
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The Package Holiday Explosion.
Before the sixties air travel was a luxury. The idea of families enjoying a quick hop across to Spain was unthinkable outside of the rich set.
But with the advent of wider-bodied airliners it soon became possible for more and more people to become part of the jet age.
Just being able to get there doesn’t make holidaying easy though.
Families wanted the sun and sand, but not all the complications of interacting in foreign languages, finding hotels, and haggling.
That was where package holiday operators came in. With a package holiday, one trip to a travel agent sorted out everything you needed.
This was nothing new, but it now came at a much lower price.
Benidorm was only a small village, and even while Spain was under the Fascist rule of General Franco it retained its easy-going character.
Perhaps that’s why, when high-rise projects were flowering across Spain, this town took the promise of more building space and used it to appeal to tourists.
From there it didn’t take long for the word to get out.
And with more and more Northern Europeans, especially the British, hitting Benidorm’s beaches, it was only a matter of time before people settled there too, and started their own tourist-friendly enterprises.
So that’s why if you go to Benidorm today you can immediately find that friendly “home from home” atmosphere.
There are now more trendy bars and clubs, but it’s still that same quality that people go for: all of the sun and holiday fun with none of the fuss.