Benidorm 'should be World Heritage Site'

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Spain's largest holiday resort is as important as Stonehenge, the Acropolis and the Taj Mahal, the expert said.

Located in the province of Alicante, the town is a popular location for families and young people seeking a high concentration of bars and clubs.

Each year 1.5million Britons visit the Costa Blanca resort.

Professor Philippe Duhamel, a geography expert from the University of Angers in France, said: "Benidorm is the Dubai of Europe. It is unique in Europe, is known worldwide and is a remarkable site for what is understood by mass tourism.

"For many years everybody spoke badly of Benidorm, but with time it has gained value, as has happened in other examples of architectural world heritage."

Prof Duhamel told the 12th International Benidorm Tourism Forum that the resort's "unique collection of skyscrapers" were of particular cultural importance.

These include the Gran Bali Hotel, built in 2002, which is 52 storey and 186m high and the Torre Intempo – which is currently being built and will be 55 storeys.

Locals have nicknamed the town 'Beniyork' for its proliferation of high-rise buildings.

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