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Tourists who wish to go out for a night walk on the beach in Benidorm or, perhaps, organize a romantic meeting there, could soon be surprised to be fined by a policeman.
And it is that Benidorm, the Spanish capital of tourism with its culture of sex and sangria, is cracking down on the debauchery and low-budget debauchery that have given it a place in the hearts of thousands of travelers with fair skin and burnt noses.
The city has drawn up a strict beach ordinance to regulate everything from building sand castles to late-night sex sessions, so popular in recent years, thanks to the ability to instantly become famous with an online video.
According to the code of article 73, which will come into force next year, the beach will not be accessible from midnight to 7 in the morning, the schedule of the “bottle” parties and sexual encounters, but also of walks under the light of the stars.
The city has decided to take action against indiscretions in the daylight as well. Peeing in the Mediterranean waters of Benidorm, for example, could cost a reckless visitor up to € 150; and leaving a broken bottle in the sand would cost you a € 750 fine.
Advertising distributors who are hunting the customer on the beach with advertisements such as "English breakfast € 1" or "2 × 1 drinks" will be penalized with fines of € 300. And making a bonfire will be penalized with fines of € 1,100.
Even devotees of the sun are among his targets. Those who arrive early and plant their umbrella at dawn to reserve a spot for peak sun hours could face a € 150 fine.
The municipal government alleges environmental and safety issues, pointing out that it is not safe for youth to get drunk in the sand or grope themselves covered with a blanket while the beach cleaning service machines are working.
In the last year, five more tons of garbage were collected than in previous years, mainly due, according to the city council, to night activity on the beach.
The initiative coincides with Benidorm's attempt to take a leap up the scale of respectability: last week, the city's tourism council announced that it had requested UNESCO's declaration of the city as a World Heritage Site.
The new fines of Benidorm
- € 120 Play ball or paddles outside the established areas
- € 150 Urinate or defecate in the sea or in the sand
- € 150 Reserve a good spot at sunrise to use later
- € 250 Take animals to the beach
- € 250 Take glass containers to the beach (€ 750 if broken)
- € 300 Drink alcohol or sell products
- € 750 Fishing (€ 1,100 with harpoon)
- € 750 Use the beach (for a party, sex or walk) between midnight and 7 in the morning
- € 1,000 Bathing with "red flag"