Sunday, 12th July 2020

This Month's Magazine
Don José Antonio Mena

Don José Antonio Mena

An Exclusive, not political, interview with the Mayor of Benahavís

What can you tell me about car parking?
Some available parking areas are free but some seem a little too far from the centre.

This is not exactly so as we do have several parking areas and they are all free. Not just indoor parking right in the centre in Avenida de Andalucia, but also within the new Council building on the outskirts of the centre. This is a little further from the centre, but once the work is completed on this avenida, the shorter walk will be exceptionally enjoyable. In any case no parking lot is further than a 10 minutes walk from any restaurant. We have also added another 30 parking places in Calle La Fragua, just off the calle del Pilar, on the right or on the left, 3 minutes from the restaurants and free of charge. Currently there are some 500 parking places, all free, within the centre ring.

What are you doing to be able to count on the cooperation of restaurants and businesses in order to overcome some bad impressions given to visitors; of course there will always be someone who just likes to complain.

I am not aware that we have given any bad impression to visitors. Clearly the Council cannot monitor every waiter or chef to ensure exemplary behaviour. However letÂ’s assume that this is so, the proof is that we receive thousands of tourists from Spain and the rest of the world and we have never heard of any news regarding our bad impression. Furthermore anyone who has come to Benahavis always comes back to visit, which I think is relevant. It is conceivable that that some individual tourist may have had some disagreement in some restaurant but this would be an isolated incident specific to that business to be resolved privately. The Council cannot enter into such arguments. On  the other hand I doubt that a bad impression of Benahavis can be created just because some restaurant did not meet with someoneÂ’s expectation. The Council has no way of acting as mediator.

Renting and ease of new business formalities.

With regards to business opening formalities in Benhavis these are fast and easy. Whenever anyone wants to start a business all he has to do is present the required documentation and request and just start the business right away. With regards to the type of business, our administration does make certain requests, however they are very easy to comply with. Under normal circumstances, a business can be started while waiting for the permit; always and in all cases one can start trading immediately after presenting his declaration of responsibility.

Any ideas for attracting tourism now or in the future?
Our visitors know what we have to offer, everything in Benahavís is about golf and cuisine. To complement this we have quality of life in a natural setting that very few neighbouring municipalities can offer. There is not much more else we can do, what we do have to do and is being done by our Tourism Delegation is to preserve our achievements in this privileged location. We always promote tourists and golf fairs which we sponsor as we also sponsor local sportsmen who compete in various international events. It’s a way to create an image and to ensure that the Benahavís Brand expands within the international tourist market, in particular the European market. For example the Benahavís Senior Golf Masters, some pre-seasonal football games with hotel accommodation and so on.


Are there any incentives for restaurants and other investors to offset the crisis?
Nothing in particular, but all in general; that is to say that as Council we organise events that attract tourism, we promote our restaurants in every fair we attend and we always maintain a good rapport with all businesses. When the crisis tightens it is difficult to escape it. We do not have a magic wand but we do everything we can whith what is available to encourage tourism as I have explained above.

Do you visit the Benahavís businesses regularly?
I am from Benahavís and I live in Benahavís. I was born here and walked on these streets and although I am now the Mayor I am very clear as to who I am and whence I come. The Pueblo is my life and in the Pueblo a live the good moments and I share the pains of my neighbours. It is not a question of visiting the Pueblo, I live in it and as Mayor I live for it. Would you like to add any further Comment that you consider opportune? Firstly I would like to thank your publication for giving us the opportunity to reach so many readers and be known by more people.I would simply like to add that Benahavís offers many attractions and is a very cosy
Pueblo. ItÂ’s not for nothing that the number of natives is much lower than that of foreign residents. I wish to add that anyone who chose to live here is most welcome and well received and we consider them all as part of us, furthermore we are very lucky in that our foreign residents participate in everything. There is no activity or fiesta of any kind in which hey do not take part. This is  reason to be proud of for all municipal councillors as well as the people of Benahavís.

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