The Spanish tourist industry is relatively new when compared with some other parts of the world. Travelling for the sake of travel and learning about the culture and way of life of another country really began with The Grand Tour. From the mid 1600s, the rich started to travel and tourism was born.
How the Traditional Spanish Holiday was Born
However, travel was really quite limited most people only visited Itay, France and Venice. Very few went to Spain, so Spain had to wait for tourism to take a hold in their country and they had to wait until the mid 1960s for the traditional Spanish holiday to emerge.
During the 1940s and 50s a few northern Europeans travelled to Spain and stayed on the coast. However, they were considered by many to be brave because the country was still under Franco’s control and the country’s facilities were basic to say the least. However, these early pioneers appreciated that Spain was a beautiful, welcoming country with plenty of sunshine, acres of beaches and a very cheap country to vacation in.
The mayor of Benidorm from 1950 to 1967 is credited with coming up with the sun, sea and sand holiday packages Spain is famous for. Pedro Zaragoza Orts was forward thinking he took Benidorm from a fishing village to a major tourist resort in under a decade. He wrote to and persuaded German and Scandinavian airlines to bring plane loads of people to tourism. He famously rode to Madrid on a Vespa to persuade Franco to allow bikinis to be worn on Benidorm beaches. He wanted northern European tourists to feel truly comfortable and relaxed.
Modern Spanish Holidays
Today, Spanish holidays are as popular as ever. Spain is the second most visited country in the world and the vast majority still go there for a beach holiday. The people are warm and welcoming they know how to take care of people and the weather is good. Spain is a country with a rich culture and today more and more people are visiting Spanish cities and their historical sites, museums and art galleries.
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