Benidorm Tourist Board announces UNESCO application

Benidorm Tourist BoardBenidorm: A New World Heritage Site?   Tourist Board announces UNESCO application and new tourism branding 

Benidorm is not without its critics, but – love it or loathe it – many prominent architects worldwide now recognize the unique qualities of the resort and the efficiency of the Benidorm model, enjoyed by more than 250 million visitors over the last 50 years.

With a move towards repositioning the image of the resort, Visit Benidorm Tourist Board has just unveiled plans for new tourism branding following a pioneering online competition ‘Benidorm by Talents’.   In line with strengthening the brand image, Benidorm Town Council has announced that it intends to apply for UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition.

So what makes Benidorm unique and justifies the planned UNESCO application? Tourism is now the world’s most dynamic and important industry, whether viewed in terms of employment, cultural change or environmental impact, and the beach holiday is a particularly significant component of tourism’s growth and as such, pioneering holiday destinations, like Benidorm, deserve to be taken seriously.

In recent years, Academics at the University of Angers, France, suggested that Benidorm has a legitimate UNESCO claim to World Heritage Site status under the “cultural landscape” rubric as a pioneering example of the Mediterranean “package tour” resort, providing a unique global template for other developments since.

Now esteemed sociologist Mario Gaviria, winner of the National Environmental Prize in Spain, supports the UNESCO application and recognises Benidorm’s international value as an example of environmentally sensitive sustainability.  It is one of the most sustainable cities in the world in terms of renewable electricity, energy-saving, recycling and water quality.

Spain currently has 40 of the UNESCO World Heritage sites which date back to 1972.   Benidorm will be the first case of its kind which hosts a great natural space: The Bay of Benidorm; Benidorm Island and Serra Gelada, where the New City is located.

To facilitate its application, Benidorm now needs the formal support of the Ministry of Culture and Parliament of Valencia Region to progress to an indicative list for Spain compiled by the Ministry of Culture & Education before it is considered by UNESCO accredited agencies over a two year period during which they decide on their final list of recommended candidates.

The resort fulfils the following 6 out of the 10 conditions necessary for UNESCO eligibility for candidacy, although just one is necessary to apply:

(I) Represents a masterpiece of human creative genius.

(II)Testifies considerable exchange of human values over a full period or within a cultural area of the world in the fields of architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design.

(Iii) Provides a unique or exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization alive or missing.

(V) It is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement or use of land or sea representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change.

(Vii) Represents natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and scenic importance.

(Ix) It is an eminently representative example of ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine animals.

The former fishing village location was selected as the ideal site to develop a resort for affordable and accessible sunshine holidays for millions of Spaniards & Europeans enjoying the economic success of the 60’s and 70’s.  It offered a unique location on a south facing peninsula, with outstanding beaches and the spectacular backdrop of the Serra Gelada Nature Park.

Resort development was carefully planned along forward-thinking guidelines of sustainability and urban development. Its “Plan General de Ordenación Urbana” was underway by 1956, two years before Spain made town planning laws obligatory.  The project was supervised by the largest 20th century developer in Spain, Pedro Idagor, with more than 500 architects and engineers involved in the process.

Wide avenues and tall skyscrapers were permitted with height in relation to the size of the footprint to leave open ground around them for gardens, so that they only appear to look close together when viewed from a distance.  This allowed more hotels to be built close to the coastline with guest rooms designed to enjoy seaviews, all with balconies enjoying maximum sunlight due to its unique south facing situation.

The fact that 7 out of 10 guests return is testament to its success but it does not rest on its laurels:   Benidorm continues to evolve and reinvent itself to the changing demands of the 5 million+ visitors it receives every year, who contrary to belief are mainly Spanish, closely followed by the UK which showed a 4% increase last year.

Now the Visit Benidorm Tourist Board has announced the success of an online rebranding challenge with online platform ‘Talents United’  ( ).  The pioneering tourism initiative requested logo and theme creatives to inspire the rebranding process for the resort.

The ‘Benidorm by Talents’ challenge ran over a 6 month period from November 2014 and 20% of the 330 entry proposals came from the international market.  This runs alongside a study recently released on repositioning the consumer image of Benidorm, focusing on beaches and other leisure attractions.  The winning logo design is by Juan Ais and the winning theme by Yolanda San Juan.  The new logo is now being introduced across all communication mediums, branding campaigns  and promotional materials.

The repositioning & rebranding of the resort follows an extensive programme of carefully planned re-development and investment in the infrastructure of the resort in recent years, including the opening of three new 5* luxury hotels golf, spa and leisure resorts; renovation of approximately 90% of the hotels; and award-winning new building and seafront architecture.   With just 75,000 local residents, Benidorm now provides 40,000 hotel beds plus 32,000 more in apartments, camp sites and others and has undeniably integrated into Spanish and Mediterranean culture.

See the following for more information on the destination:


Issued on behalf of Visit Benidorm Tourist Board by Doug Goodman Public Relations, email:, tel. 020 8614 1448. Further information & images are available on request



Posted from London, England, United Kingdom.

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