Thursday, 10 May 2018

Two Hundred to One

How much do you spend each day in Spain? Let's add a small fraction of the price of your house, and a slightly larger one for your car... and maybe throw in your furniture and your pills and your taxes (including IBI).
I have no idea, myself. It seems a lot. Many of us residents live on money sent from abroad - our pension or something from the bank. You will know how much I am talking about. It's true that some of us foreigners get our money from the sweat of our brow here in Spain (usually, but not always, money issuing from fellow guiris as customers and clients), and then there are a few foreigners who live here on their wits - ripping off other foreigners as best they can ('I don't feel good about it', says one, having just persuaded an elderly couple in Mojácar to put their car in his name, and then selling it, 'but I do what I must to live').
In short, the above-mentioned gentleman excluded, we foreigners bring in a lot of money to Spain. In the cities we are a tiny fraction, but in many small coastal towns we are very important to the local economy.
Except Mojácar, where if you ain't wearing Lycra, you ain't worth a damn.
But talking of Lycra and Speedos and other tourist paraphernalia, how much do the trippers spend daily while on their hols (for an average of twelve days visit for foreigners, five for a Madrileño)? The answer, according to the records, is 60€ per day.
So, one foreign tourist spends 720€. Perhaps some of this stays in the country of origin, perhaps not (the records understandably don't show). Some of their money will be taken in the all-inclusive hotel and perhaps the rest will largely go to the corner souvenir shop (or maybe in bicycle repair). By the way, those visitors who don't stay in the hotels - usually house guests, family and so on - are known in the trade as 'tupamaros'.
Foreign residents, of course, spend nothing in local hotels and souvenir shops.
I'm just popping into the nick-nack shop...
How much do we spend in a full year, as compared to one tourist in twelve days? My rough calculation is 200:1. One foreign resident spends, in one year, two hundred times more than one tourist in one yearly visit.
Following from this, it becomes clear that one thousand residents would be worth the equivalent of two hundred thousand tourists. With 200 times less crowding, aggravation and noise.
Mojácar, with its 3,000 full-time foreigners (600,000 tourists), should have a slightly higher image as a residential town and, who knows, maybe some representation in the town hall, a foreigners' department and perhaps a vague 'bilingualism' amongst our rulers. We bring a lot of wealth to the pot.
Other towns in the province, far from the playas, like Arboleas, Zurgena, Turre, Bédar and Albox, are aware of the incalculable value of their foreign citizens, but in Mojácar, it's all about the trippers and their sixty euros. 

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