‘I’ve lived in Benidorm for years – Brits have been enemy however every part’s modified’

A woman who has been living in Benidorm for 40 years says fellow Brits were the “arch enemy” before the pandemic – but that has all changed now.

Michelle Bake has raised five children in the party hotspot with her Spanish husband and spoke to us about the anti-tourism protests in the Canary Islands.

But the mum – who runs an informative Facebook page called Benidormforever – has reassured British visitors that they have nothing to fear.

READ MORE: ‘Brits abroad get smashed by 11am and call kids “bruv” – Canary Islands should hate us’

Click for more of the latest from the Canary Islands.

Michelle Baker
Michelle loves the sun, sand and sea of Benidorm and has raised a family there

Speaking exclusively to the Daily Star, Michelle said: “There is no concern whatsoever. It is quite the opposite. Since the pandemic there has been a before and after with their attitude towards the Brits especially.

“We were like the arch enemy before the pandemic and once they realised how powerful our spending was, British tourists were very well respected and very welcome.”

Locals in the likes of Tenerife have taken to the streets to complain of low wages and a lack of affordable housing to rent.

Swarms of Brits are still heading there this summer despite one expat warning that an “uprising” was imminent. But Michelle said such sentiment was not being felt in Benidorm.

She added: “There is no protest although there is internally. We have had the same problem here as they have over there but to a lesser degree because Benidorm is not an island and you can go further inland to get property to rent. It’s a bit cheaper for the workforce which you can’t do on the island which is the problem, where there is nowhere for them to live.

Canary Island protests
Thousands of local people have been taking to the streets on the island of Tenerife

Canary Island protests
Furious Tenerife locals have demanded tourists ‘go home’

“But the prices here have hiked incredibly, rental places are through the roof, so it is an issue but nothing that you will see represented in the streets.”

Michelle also said the tourism industry was booming in Beni and said they have been smashing records since their best year to date in 2019.

“It is literally like the town that never sleeps now,” she added. “Before you had the peaks and troughs of the tourists coming but it is just busy the whole time.”

Michelle lives 20 minutes from Benidorm and she previously spoke to us about the army that washes away boozy Brits’ sins – like the street where the ‘smell of sick is vile’.

But she is passionate about the town and regularly sings its praises online where she speaks about its unfair reputation.

She ran a newspaper there for 20 years and she said first time visitors to Benidorm are always surprised to learn what it is actually like.

People sunbathing at Poniente Beach in Benidorm

Michelle from Benidormforever says Brits are more welcome than ever

And, according to Michelle, this summer will be even more exciting with the Euros where England will finally hope to win silverware.

Giving a sense of what the atmosphere will be like, she said: “It is the best place to come and watch any sporting event. We have literally 300 of these huge screens and people sit there and think ‘where else would I want to be with €3 pints in front of me watching this match?’

“They feel like they are there because the screens are as big as a cinema screen and that is what attracts people.

“Cheltenham week was off the charts busy because the sun was shining, you were getting a tan while sipping your beer and it was just so darn cheap.”

Michelle is just back from a family trip to New York where pints were €9 and she said she spent more money in one day in the US than she could ever splash out over a whole weekend in sunny Beni.

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