Tourists Usually In Spain Stay Mainly Off The Planes The global recession has been catastrophic for one of the world's most popular tourist desitinations: Spain. Business is off and unemployment is up as Britons and other northern Europeans pinched by the poor economy stay home.
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Tourists Usually In Spain Stay Mainly Off The Planes

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Tourists Usually In Spain Stay Mainly Off The Planes

Tourists Usually In Spain Stay Mainly Off The Planes

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Many people are staying home this summer, and not only in America. The stay- cation phenomenon is also hitting Europe, the world's biggest exporter of tourists. And that's been a disaster for one of the world's most popular tourist destinations: Spain. Jerome Socolovsky reports from the Spanish resort of Benidorm on the Mediterranean Sea.

(SOUNDBITE OF WAVES CRASHING)

JEROME SOCOLOVSKY: Unidentified Woman #1: Hello (unintelligible).

SOCOLOVSKY: But you may bump into one of the inebriated British holiday-makers carousing on the boardwalk. But this summer they're not as ubiquitous as they normally are. Benidorm and the surrounding regions have witnessed a 22 percent drop in foreign tourist arrivals during the first part of this year, the worst of any region in Spain.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE BLOWING)

SOCOLOVSKY: Unidentified Woman #2: (Spanish spoken)

(SOUNDBITE OF BABY CRYING)

SOCOLOVSKY: Mothers with babies have been waiting for hours. Paki Sanchez(ph) is a grandmother who worked for 45 years as a hotel receptionist.

PAKI SANCHEZ: (Spanish spoken)

SOCOLOVSKY: It's incredible, she says. I've never seen anything like this. Next to her is a family spanning three generations, two of which are of working age.

YOLANDA SAVEDRO: Unidentified Man: (Spanish spoken)

SAVEDRO: (Spanish spoken)

SOCOLOVSKY: Young mother, Yolanda Savedro, and her parents say they're all unemployed. Savedro says she's also run out of her welfare entitlement.

SAVEDRO: (Spanish spoken)

SOCOLOVSKY: I've been out of work for two years, she says. I can't take it anymore. I have three children, and the youngest is six months old. Savedro says kids are starting to steal from supermarkets because their families can't feed them.

SAVEDRO: (Spanish spoken)

SOCOLOVSKY: At its headquarters in Madrid, its Jordanian secretary general, Taleb Rifai, says the industry is dependent on northern European economies that are in crisis.

TALEB RIFAI: So, it is natural that Spain would be most affected with a drop in demand, especially from the European markets. Europe still is the major generating market of the world. More than 55 percent of tourists of the world come out of Europe.

SOCOLOVSKY: For NPR News, I'm Jerome Socolovsky in Benidorm, Spain.

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