Humanitarian Call to Hotels in Spanish Holiday Hotspots
Human rights organizations are making an appeal to hotels in various popular holiday destinations in Spain, requesting them to provide rooms for around £35 per night to accommodate asylum seekers.
The move comes in response to the ongoing migrant crisis in the Canary Islands, which has witnessed a surge in illegal immigrant arrivals from Africa via perilous sea journeys in small boats.
Response from Valencia Region and Benidorm
In the Valencia region, hotels have responded positively to the plea and have agreed to offer accommodation for asylum seekers.
However, in the case of Benidorm, a well-known British holiday destination on the Spanish mainland, the hotels have yet to join the initiative.
They cite concerns that the request has not been properly coordinated or approved by the government, leading to a cautious stance on their part.
Canary Islands Facing Unprecedented Migrant Arrivals
The Canary Islands have witnessed an unprecedented wave of illegal immigrant arrivals in recent times.
This crisis, which reached its peak in October, surpassed even the levels seen in 2006 when thousands attempted the journey to islands like Tenerife, Lanzarote, and Gran Canaria.
During October, nearly 15,000 people reached the coasts of the Canary Islands, marking a historical record in the arrival of foreigners via small boats.
The Atlantic route they take is considered one of the deadliest, with many migrants embarking on this treacherous journey without life jackets, driven by their desperation to seek a better life in Europe.
Challenges Faced by the Authorities
The surge in arrivals has put immense pressure on the authorities to find temporary accommodations for these illegal immigrants, who need to go through processing before possible repatriation.
Existing facilities and camps are overwhelmed, leading to concerning conditions for migrants.
For instance, around 150 people had to spend their first night in the garage of a police station in south Tenerife, with reports of subpar living conditions.
Request to Hotels on the Spanish Mainland
In response to the overcrowding and challenges in the Canary Islands, various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have begun reaching out to hotels on the Spanish mainland, appealing for their assistance in providing rooms for the migrants.
While many hoteliers are expressing a willingness to help, the Valencian Hotel Association, HOSBEC, has pointed out the need for better coordination between the public and private sectors.
HOSBEC acknowledges the desire to assist but insists on a coordinated approach sanctioned by the Spanish government.
Ongoing Efforts and Hotel Responses
Over the last 72 hours, hoteliers in the Valencian Community have received offers for flexible accommodation contracts for refugees from external organizations, adapting to the economic and service conditions of each establishment.
While some hotels affiliated with these initiatives in other tourist destinations in the Valencian community are already hosting refugees or planning to do so in the near future, hotels in Benidorm have not yet committed to this effort, emphasizing the importance of proper coordination and government approval.