Gay tourism in Benidorm dates back to 1962, when Pretex opened its doors, it was the very first bar with a completely gay atmosphere in the entire Alicante area. Since then, many more bars have appeared and disappeared in what is now the touristic capital of Costa Blanca.
Most of these bars have been located in the oldest part of Benidorm for decades. They are small but very cozy places located in an authentic holiday location, the narrow, sometimes steep streets of an old fishing village. A place where tourists from the LGBT community from all over Europe loved to go.
|Picture by Pixabay|
Indeed, loved to go, because in recent years it seems that this form of tourism is no longer welcome in these city streets. What's more, in recent years the small bars have been seen more as a nuisance. That's a shame when you consider that that kind of tourism has made Benidorm what it is today.
The real problem is not the bars in the old town center, but the people who have moved there, they are annoyed by the nighttime noise that such a bar can cause. Something logical, entertainment and fun simply involve a bit more noise. The question then is, why do you come to live there if you know that your downstairs neighbor is a night bar? You wouldn't live next to an airport and then complain that the planes make you blast out of your seat and keep you up at night, right? Not to mention the masses of people that such an airport can bring about.
However, it seems more like the city of Benidorm has chosen to sell its old city center to people who want to turn it into an exclusive neighborhood, something like the nearby Altea Hills, a status symbol for second homes and real estate offices with a lot of money. And with money comes peace and quiet and of course also the sometimes huge cars that have to be able to maneuver easily in the small streets of the old town. There is therefore no longer any room for authenticity, respect for history, and built-up traditions.
Agreed, there is also another reason why gay visits to these types of bars are declining, which is the normalization of homosexuality in general. You can go anywhere as gay, bisexual or lesbian these days. It has become the most normal thing in the world. But sometimes you want to be completely among your companions, especially on vacation and certainly in a place with many years of LGBT history.
Hopefully, the city of Benidorm will realize in time that there are now exclusive neighborhoods all over the world for more wealthy tourists and hopefully they will not forget where it all started, just to go on holiday under the Spanish sun with friends or like-minded people and escape from their everyday life rut at home.