Local Daily News 2nd November

The province of Alicante becomes a "tropical" climate with 85 nights at more than 22 degrees and the sea at 24 degrees in November

Tropical temperatures starting in November, which are here to stay. The unexpected arrival of a powerful air pocket from the west has caused the rise in temperatures since the early hours of Sunday afternoon in the province of Alicante, especially the coastal strip, which has registered two anomalous days in the middle of autumn with maximums of 29 degrees on Sunday (and with the sea at 24 degrees). The west wind also set a new record, since in coastal cities like Alicante the minimum temperature did not drop below 22 degrees during the weekend. That is to say, a new “tropical” night, making it a total of 85 this year, according to data from the Laboratory of Climatology of the University of Alicante. Its director, Jorge Olcina, is clear that “the tropical nights are evidence of climate change. We have had some in February and November other years, but this year there are already 85. The Mediterranean is the area of ​​Spain that is most noticing its effects and the province is a clear example. That the temperature is at 23/24 degrees starting November is something to take into account and should worry us”. Until a couple of years ago, the average number of tropical nights in the province was around thirty a year, a figure that has tripled this year.

The increase in the temperature of the Mediterranean (29 degrees on the coast of the province in summer) has, on the other hand, a devastating effect on the increase in summer thermal discomfort in the province of Alicante, since, for example, between the 1st of June and the 18th of August, the University Climatology Laboratory recorded a total of 71 tropical nights – when the temperature does not drop below 22 degrees – of which five were equatorial (25 degrees or more, minimum), double that of the summer of 2020, and completed with a high degree of humidity. The direct cause is the sea temperature and according to Jorge Olcina, it is already a fact that in summer in cities like Alicante the temperature does not drop below 20 degrees on any summer night, especially in the urban center, where buildings also help keep warm. In many cities, every night is tropical in the summer. The last succession followed by equatorial nights, five in August, had occurred in the summer of 2015, but 2021 has set a historical record for night heat.

The Climatology Laboratory warns that, in the last ten years, the increase and combination of heat and humidity have made the thermal sensation during the summer, especially at night, to be higher than in the valley of the Guadalquivir, which is considered the most torrid area in Spain.

In the province, it is perfectly appreciable in the urban centers of Torrevieja, Elche, Alicante, Benidorm and Dénia, according to Jorge Olcina, author of a study with Samuel Biener. The so-called tropical nights have tripled since 1980 and it should be noted that the neighborhood of La Florida, in the city of Alicante, happens to be the hottest part of the municipality.

During the first fortnight of August this year, nighttime values ​​were very high throughout the province. The minimum temperatures did not drop below 25º. All those nights, the thermal sensation was around 30º, even higher in some cases, according to the “heat Index”, which is the one usually used by the State Meteorological Agency.

This situation does not occur in other areas of Spain, where torrid nights tend to be rather specific or do not last more than three or four days, almost always coinciding with heat waves, and one of the best examples is the Guadalquivir valley.

Until 1980, torrid nights on the coast were exceptional, but in recent years they have become more frequent on the Mediterranean coast. In our province, it is noticeable in the urban centers of Torrevieja, Elche, Alicante, Benidorm and Dénia.

In the last 40 years, the average temperature of the sea off the coast of the province has increased 1.3 degrees, even tripling that of the air temperature. A circumstance that in the medium and long term will have important consequences for life itself on the intensely busy coastal strip, where 60% of the population resides and in which action is urgently needed, according to the climatologist Jorge Olcina, who together with Professor Joan Romero, from the University of Valencia, has published the book “Climate Change in the Mediterranean, processes, risks and policies”, in which experts from all disciplines analyze the consequences that global warming may have. Olcina emphasizes, in this sense, that the warming of the sea has been unstoppable since 1982, and requires taking measures that are difficult but necessary. Climate change is going to cause us to have a great maritime storm every two or two and a half years, when 20 years ago they were much less frequent. They will also be more intense, and not only in the generation of torrential rains, but in the greater virulence of the sea beating against the coast. For this reason, it is urgent that the 2013 Coastal Law be revised, which extended the concessions for homes and businesses for up to 75 more years.

Halloween in Elche: 65 police reports for drinking alcohol in the street, one for exhibitionism and three premises sealed off

Sunday was one of the calmest Halloween nights with few incidents. This has been declared by the mayor of Citizen Security, Ramón Abad, who has ensured that the special unit of the Local Police and the good behavior of most of the population have led to no notable incidents.

“We make a very positive balance of how this holiday has gone, since it has been possible to avoid the image of years ago of young people in the streets throwing eggs and flour,” said the councilor who explained that they had identified two minors for throwing eggs at vehicles.

According to the police report, in the afternoon of yesterday the agents made a total of 65 reports of alcohol consumption on public roads, of which eleven involved minors. Along with this, three police reports were made for lack of respect for the agents, eight for disobedience, one for disturbing public order and five for drugs.

Two establishments were also sealed off for the sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors, a record was drawn up for exhibitionism and assistance was provided to three minors for drunkenness. “In general it was a quiet night, I think the police presence among the youth was essential, together with the good behavior of the population, so that we did not have to regret serious incidents,” concluded the councilor.

The National Police detain a man in Orihuela for faking being the victim of an online scam

National Police agents have arrested a 43-year-old man of Algerian nationality in Orihuela as the alleged perpetrator of simulating a crime.

The arrested person appeared at the Orihuela National Police Station claiming to be the victim of a crime of fraud committed over the internet. According to his statement to  the agents of the Office of Complaints and Citizen Services, someone had been using his credit card to carry out various online transactions.

After the investigation of the police officers belonging to the Orihuela Judicial Police Brigade, it was determined that the reported expenses had been made entirely voluntarily by the alleged victim, who had subscribed to a prize draw website. As proof, the agents obtained the recording of the acceptance of the terms and conditions of the contract as well as the signing of the contract.

The detainee once at the police station acknowledged the facts, also admitting that his bank had already paid him part of what was reported, and that he had finally spent it on lottery products.

The arrested man was released after his statement at the police station, waiting to be summoned by the Court.

The Costa Blanca turns to London to attract 30% of British tourists throughout the year

Union to cement the tourism sector of the Costa Blanca in the United Kingdom. The hotel management Hosbec, Turisme and the Provincial Tourist Board announced this Monday in the framework of the WTM in London the launch of a tourist macro-campaign this Christmas in the United Kingdom. The objective is to try to attract 30% of English tourists who on this date reserve their vacations for the whole year. English tourism is still key: 2.9 million visitors, 2.46 billion euros of economic movement, a daily expenditure of 111 euros, according to the figures for 2019, the best year in history.

The Christmas period has traditionally been one of the highest volume sales times for holidays and travel in the whole of the UK. This continues throughout Christmas and the month of January, and it is estimated that in this period up to 30% of the total bookings for the following year may materialize.

The intention is that 2022 will be the year of “return to normality.” The president of Hosbec, Toni Mayor, pointed out in the WTM that next year “levels of a certain normality could be recovered, if covid leaves us”; but it could still be better than expected. Because “at the moment there is an important demand force, people who are buying their trips.” An increase in reservations could be greater by “gradually reducing the few doubts about covid” that remain, and then “we would enter a rapid recovery of normality”, according to Toni Mayor.

The British market is one of the most important, especially for the Costa Blanca. In 2019, 30% of foreign tourism that came to the Valencian Community was British: “from 3 million English tourists in 2019 it has gone to 600,000”, according to the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig. But this market “is absolutely a priority.”

Therefore, they have joined forces to launch this powerful campaign. The president of the Alicante Provincial Council, Carlos Mazón, pointed out that “we have come to regain leadership in British tourism.” at a time when the “sector needs to revive as soon as possible”. To do this, “promotion is key.”

The WTM has also been the scene of a meeting of TourEspaña, the president of the Consell and representatives of Turisme Comunidad Valenciana with the minister of the sector, Reyes Maroto. In it they have addressed various issues that concern the Valencian Community and the Costa Blanca how to improve the situation regarding residents’ visas since “due to Brexit there are restrictions that affect residents in the market for buying houses.” Measures that affect almost 100,000 people. “The minister has informed us that a Mobility group has been created between the embassies” to seek that Brexit “is the least Brexit possible” and that is to facilitate the British coming more than 90 days without requesting a visa”, said Puig.

In addition, the possibility of installing the “Data Center” in the Community, which will be carried out with European funds, has been raised. The meeting also served to demand a better formula for the Imserso. However, the meeting provoked the “indignation” of the president of the Alicante Provincial Council, Carlos Mazón, when he was not invited to it.

The WTM also talked about the future, especially with Benidorm as the focus. Puig stated that in the meeting held with ABTA, the British association of travel agencies and tour operators, it was decided that the congress of this entity can be held in the municipality in 2023. Regarding this possibility, the mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez, indicated that “The prize” for the work done is “to host the ABTA congress.” Benidorm “has shown its strength as a destination and the best award for Benidorm and tourism is to hold this congress” which adds to the commitment to sustainability.

The airport maintains 27,500 flights during the low season, a figure similar to before the pandemic

The airlines stand up to the pandemic. The Alicante-Elche airport has a total of 27,800 flights scheduled from this Monday until the 26th of March and the forecast to serve 5 million passengers in the aeronautical low season, which starts positively but also marked by the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, despite the success of the vaccines. However, both Aena and air traffic experts consider the data to be good, since the decrease in relation to winter 2019 is only 1.9%. In other words, the airport has managed to practically maintain the programming of the low season of the best year in history and spectacular in relation to last winter, when the terminal had days with hardly any flights and these were mainly repatriation of tourists or emergencies.

The United Kingdom continues to be the destination with the most available places, 1.5 million, which represents a decrease of 15%, which is offset by the growth of the Spanish market, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Denmark. A significant fact is that the English company Jet2.com, linked to the tour operator Jetholidays, maintains its commitment to the Costa Blanca and this month it has 192 flights scheduled with Belfast, Birmingham (daily), Edinburgh, East Midlands, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds (daily), Newcastle and London. November is traditionally strong for the British tourist market, especially for those who stay in hotels, due to the pull of Benidorm’s patron saint festivities and the fact that it also coincides that the British have their own agenda of events.

The airlines have scheduled five million seats for the winter season, which represents only a decrease of 1.9% compared to the winter season of 2019, before the start of the pandemic. National traffic is the one that has grown the most with an increase of 20%. All in all, the rest of the European countries continue to concentrate most of the available places, with more than 3.9 million places, which represents a decrease of 6% compared to the winter season of 2019, due to the fall in British tourism. Finally, Africa has more than 162,000 seats offered, resulting in a decrease of 9%.

Regarding specific countries, the provincial airport adds two more connections by adding Bulgaria and Morocco to the list compared to winter 2019, creating a total of 25 connections. The country with the most seats scheduled is the United Kingdom with about 1,554,000 seats, 15% less than in 2019. It is followed by Spain, the Netherlands with more than 386,500 places (17% more than in 2019), and Belgium with more than 322,800 places (19% more than 2019). Two countries stand out with a notable increase in their programming: Italy with more than 137,400 places and an increase of 31% and Denmark with more than 131,000 places and an increase of 36%.

In terms of operations, the airlines have scheduled around 27,800 flights, 5.1% less than the winter season 2019. With a distribution very similar to the seats offered, Europe brings together most of the flights (more than 21,000 flights, 7% less), followed by the domestic market (with Spain more than 5,700 flights are scheduled, 6% more) and finally Africa has 996 flights, 12% less than in winter 2019.

The uncertainty regarding travel remains high despite everything, especially in the British market, which has a special impact on the Alicante airport due to the distribution of its traffic. Likewise, the seating and movement programming is always subject to changes by the airlines, but the starting figures are good after the hiatus suffered during 2020 due to the pandemic.

The airlines have programmed a total of 108.8 million seats in Spain for the winter season, which represents an increase of 4.2% compared to the same period in 2019

Aena clarifies that although “the general data is positive, the degree of uncertainty remains high and the seating and movement scheduling is always subject to changes by the airlines.” In addition, they recall that in the winter of 2019, “the last two weeks of March already registered very low activity, which influences the comparisons for the whole of the programming.”

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