Benidorm - the eighth wonder of the world

Boozy Spanish tourist hotspot Benidorm plots bid to become Unesco world heritage site alongside wonders of the world 


The package holiday destination could join sites including the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef on the list 


BENIDORM – the home from home of boozed-up sunburnt Brits – could become a world heritage site alongside iconic landmarks such as the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and the Great Barrier Reef.

The Spanish town’s council plans to submit a bid to Unesco next year for heritage status, according to The Times.

The Costa Blanca holiday hotspot would be a surprising addition to the list. But mayor Antonia Perez insisted the town has plenty to offer.

He said: “We are unique both in terms of our natural beauty and our man-made model of a sustainable city.

“We have beautiful beaches and a vertical city which is very sustainable.

 “Benidorm has expanded upwards unlike many other cities and we have not built on our bay or the islands nearby.”

The town reportedly has the third highest skyline in Europe after London and Milan, with its 200-metre tall Intempo building and the 186-metre Gran Hotel Bali.

 Across the world there are more than 1,000 Unesco world heritage sites, which are deemed “masterpieces of human creative genius” or to represent “an important interchange of human values”.
 
Benidorm has been a hugely popular tourist destination since holidays abroad took off in the 60s and is said to welcome more than five million tourists a year.

It is home to 70 pubs, including the Yorkshire Pride and Piccadilly Corner, and has at least 10 fish and chip shops. 

Back in the 50s, bare flesh on the beach was banned in the strict Catholic country.

But mayor Pedro Zaragoza reportedly rode to Madrid on a moped to appeal directly to General Franco for an exception to be made.

He was desperate to capitalise on the three miles of glorious beach in the declining fishing village and turn it into a top holiday destination for northern Europeans.

Comments

brigida said…
I´ve never been in Benidorm so, I shouldn´t give my opinion...At least in the photos looks so spoilt and the beaches are so close to the city...In my opinion, Unesco World Heritage sites should include natural or unspoilt spots...
Graham said…
Hi Brigida,

I haven't been to Benidorm either, honest! I don't think many people would admit going there. On the other hand, its tackiness might make it worth spending a weekend there. It'd be ideal for one of your hen parties.


I´ve never been to Benidorm so I shouldn´t give my opinion...At least in the photos, it looks so spoilt and the beaches are so close to the city...
Anonymous said…
BENIDORM - THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD

Hi, Graham, this news is certainly surprising. I would have never thought that one city like Benidorm could be proposed as member of the word heritage. I suppose that the title is rather an irony. Of course, it’s absolutely true that Benidorm is an excellent example of the great social and economic transformation of the Spain in the last decades of the twentieth century. However, this city also represents the worst of uncontrolled growth. Cities like Benidorm are an excellent example of the possibilities of speculative money. A lot of apartment buildings, even skyscrapers, were built with the only goal of housing a thousand of tourists. The author of the article talks about Benidorm as the home of “boozed-up sunburnt Brits”. What a glory!
Is there someone who thinks that Benidorm can compare with Taj Mahal or the Great Wall of China? If we can’t distinguish between the great world heritage landmarks and a touristic city we have a serious problem of cultural appraisal. Of course, all is possible today, because we live in a naive world and the history and the cultural heritage don’t seem as important as in the past. Perhaps I’m exaggerating, but I find unbearable this kind of information. Certainly, the European middle classes have the right to enjoy your holidays in places like Benidorm, but I’m afraid that a lot of people who enjoy Benidorm don’t have interesting in visiting other cities with cultural appeal. That’s the point!
José Luis professor
Graham said…
Hi José Luis,

Nothing much surprises me nowadays. I am always hearing of countries boasting about the illustrious titles they are awarded by some branch of the UN. As with most things, it all comes back to money. Money will be received to preserve something or other for future generations. Spain's push to get UN recognition for bullfighting comes to mind. It demeans titles which are given to worthy recipients.


... I would never have thought that a city like Benidorm could be proposed as a member of the world heritage /put forward to receive world heritage status. I suppose that the title is rather an irony. Of course, it’s absolutely true that Benidorm is an excellent example of the great social and economic transformation of Spain in the last few decades of the twentieth century. However, this city also represents the worst side of uncontrolled growth. Cities like Benidorm are an excellent example of the possibilities of speculative money. A lot of apartment buildings, even skyscrapers, were built with the only goal of housing a thousand /thousands of tourists. The author of the article talks about Benidorm as the home of “boozed-up sunburnt Brits”. What a glory!
Does anyone think that Benidorm can be compared to the Taj Mahal or the Great Wall of China? If we can’t distinguish between the great world heritage landmarks and a touristic city, we have a serious problem with cultural appraisal. Of course, all is possible today, because we live in a naive world and history and cultural heritage don’t seem as important as in the past. Perhaps I’m exaggerating, but I find this kind of information unbearable. Certainly, the European middle classes have the right to enjoy their holidays in places like Benidorm, but I’m afraid that a lot of people who enjoy Benidorm have absolutely no interest in visiting other cities with cultural appeal. That’s the point!