I asked a few business owners in Valencia whether they believed that the two Grand Prix organised in Spain were beneficial to the economy.
Marco, Cafe a la Chive, Caller del Serpis (3km from the Port): It has two sides to it. On the one hand it costs the taxpayer, and therefore the whole country, a lot. On the other, the two cities, Barcelona and Valencia do, to some degree, benefit from the income of tourists. This refers mainly to the areas surrounding the circuits. We here don’t really feel much difference, although I would say that in general it can have positive consequences to the economy.
Ramon, Audana Bar and Restaurant, Puerto de Valencia: In general, it is positive. As every event, it attracts people who spend money. But in every case it is very hard to say whether there actually will be benefits or not. When there’s an economic crisis, there’s less product or service, and there is not enough to meet the demand of the, if this happens, increased number of customers. So, although it does tend to help the business, it can’t really be the cure for the crisis.
Antonio, Black Swan London, Colon (Town Centre): I can’t speak objectively for all businesses in town, because my shop has only been open for half a year, and I haven’t experienced the potential effects of a race myself. But generally I would think that it has to be positive in some way, because it attracts people into town. That’s the thing with organising international events, and, of course, it gives the town a good publicity. However, it is rather unfortunate this year, and with the talks that San Juan celebrations could be scrapped or limited in some way… I can’t imagine that. In this country tradition is much more important than such an event like Formula One.
And what do you think? Share your thoughts.