Figures released by local hotel association Hosbec show the number of overnight stays in the famous Costa Blanca holiday resort by Brit tourists last year plummeted by 454,000.
The drop represented an eight per cent fall, although the five million overnight stays registered by UK visitors still made Britain Benidorm’s number one foreign tourist market.
In December 41.7 per cent of the foreign holidaymakers who stayed in Benidorm were Brits according to the Hosbec figures, compared with just three per cent from second-placed Belgium and 2.2 per cent from third-placed Holland.
Spanish holidaymakers accounted for just over half the tourists who made overnight stays in the resort.
Hotel bosses say the resurgence of the domestic market - with the number of overnight stays by Spaniards last year jumping by 494,000 to 5.3 million - has countered the problem the British slump could have caused.
The Spanish rise - helped by a 17 per cent increase in the number of Portuguese tourists - has meant Benidorm hoteliers have been able to grade last year as one of the best-ever and on par with its historic 2016 when the number of overnight stays came close to reaching the 12 million mark.
The Brit fall has been blamed on competition from countries including Turkey and Egypt, the reduction of air capacity and the choice of apartments as accommodation.
Hosbec President Antonio Mayor said: “Despite a push by rival destinations like Turkey and Egypt, we are very satisfied at the results obtained in Benidorm.
“Few holiday destinations can present such solvency. Any businessman in the travel industry would be happy with guaranteed results like this for the next ten years.”
Brits began to flock to Benidorm in the sixties as package holidays became a trend.
The resort slowly became a home-for-home for package tourists from the UK with British pubs and fish and chip restaurants.
In September grandmother-of-six Freda Jackson, 81, from Blackburn, claimed her Benidorm holiday was ruined because her hotel had “too many Spaniards.”
Last week it emerged another Brit holiday favourite - the Costa del Sol resort of Torremolinos - had enjoyed its best tourism figures for 10 years with almost one million visitors recorded.