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TOPIC: Benidorm : UNESCO World Heritage Site status

Benidorm : UNESCO World Heritage Site status 1 year 3 weeks ago #58

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Benidorm is not without its critics, but the resort has attracted more than 250 million visitors over the last 50 years.

Benidorm Town Council now intends to apply for UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition.

Tourism is now one of the world's most dynamic and important industries in terms of employment, cultural change or environmental impact, and the beach holiday is a particularly significant component of tourism's growth.

In recent years, Academics at the University of Angers, France, suggested that Benidorm has a legitimate UNESCO claim to World Heritage Site status under the "cultural landscape" rubric.

This is to officially recognise Benidorm as a pioneering example of the Mediterranean "package tour" resort, providing a unique global template for other developments since.

A tourism history of Benidorm

The former fishing village location was selected as the ideal site to develop a resort for affordable and accessible sunshine holidays for millions of Spaniards & Europeans enjoying the economic success of the 60's and 70's.

It offered a location on a south facing peninsula, with outstanding beaches and the spectacular backdrop of the Serra Gelada Nature Park.

Resort development was planned with wide avenues and tall skyscrapers were permitted with height in relation to the size of the footprint to leave open ground around them for gardens, so that they only appear to look close together when viewed from a distance.

This allowed more hotels to be built close to the coastline with guest rooms designed to enjoy seaviews, all with balconies enjoying maximum sunlight due to its unique south facing situation.

With just 75,000 local residents, Benidorm now provides 40,000 hotel beds plus 32,000 more in apartments, camp sites.

UNESCO World Heritage status

Spain currently has 40 of the UNESCO World Heritage sites although Benidorm would be the first with a great natural space - The Bay of Benidorm, Benidorm Island and Serra Gelada - where the New City is located.

The resort says it fulfils six conditions necessary for UNESCO eligibility for candidacy, with just one is necessary to apply.

In particular that :

• it is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement or use of land or sea representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change.

• it represents natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and scenic importance, and

• it is an eminently representative example of ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine animals.


www.lovebenidorm.co.uk and www.en.visitbenidorm.es
Cathryn Hicks at
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