A fuming Sofía Álvarez has closed the Orihuela Costa’s only tourist information office because of a lack of staff. The councillor for tourism took the step on Thursday when she placed a sign on the office door stating, in Spanish and English “this office will be closed due to lack of person. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The councillor for tourism explained that the one employee had been moved to Orihuela where she will now be employed in the Cultural department.

Ms Álvarez told the press “I warned the Mayor, Emilio Bascuñana, and the Councillor for Human Resources, Rafael Almagro, on many occasions, both verbally and in writing, that if they did not replace the worker in the Tourist Office I would close the facilities and put a poster on the door explaining the reasons, and so I have done.”

She confirmed that the Office will remain closed until the Council, the mayor and the Human Resources councillor, authorise a replacement member of staff, adding “I am ashamed to be the Tourism Councilor and have to close the office at the very beginning of high season. It is the only Tourist Office on the Coast, and it’s closure will now give completely the wrong image as tourist numbers begin to grow”.

Álvarez said that it is very important to keep the tourist information point open on the Orihuela Costa open, now that the summer season is underway, “and if it were for me, not only would the office be open in the morning, it would also function in the afternoon and at weekends. I would also open a second office at another location”.

The councillor also criticized the attitude of the mayor, Emilio Bascuñana “because he gives the impression that what happens on the Coast is not important and I do not work like that. I give everything for all of the Oriolan residents and visitors, and also for the coast”.

On Friday CLARO referred to the closure of the tourist office of Playa Flamenca saying that it is just another example of the council’s mismanagement, joining the nefarious bungling of the councillor for the coast Luisa Boné, that will see the award-winning beaches without seasonal services and beach bars and with the possible loss of the awards next year.

The CLARO spokesmen added “the matter is extremely serious and must be remedied immediately. We hope that it is not the result of a ‘vendetta’ by the mayor with his councillor for Tourism, who we believe is doing a decent job”.