Last year, Orihuela took a leap into the future, by having the first beach in the world which hosted a secure and automated locker system for bathers.
This year, in conjunction with contracted beach facility provider Chiringuitos del Sol, the lockers return once again but this time to a brand new location and offering even more than ever before, part of the ever increasing facilities being installed on the beaches of the municipality, which is no wonder that Orihuela can boast more Blue Flags and accreditations than just about anywhere else.
The lockers have an integrated information screen with them, available in a variety of languages, including English, which will guide you through the process of acquiring your locker.
Although they were hugely successful in keeping many belongings of many beach goers secure last summer, this year there have been a few changes which makes the service even better.
The biggest change has been to the pricing structure. Now, you not only pay for the day, you can book by the hour and even the whole week. The longer you rent a locker the cheaper it is, but at just 1 euro per hour, it´s a bargain already when you consider the risk of losing your belongings. The price for the day is a bargain at just 5 euro, but it´s only 25 euro for the week, to come and go as much as you please.
Not only that, just like last year, if you rent a locker you also get free high speed Wi-Fi on the beach. You can also subscribe to the Wi-Fi on its own, if you don´t want a locker.
When you reach the locker unit you simply use the guided process which explains every step on the new and easier to see screen, pay by credit or debit card, or in cash by coins and the system allocates you a locker and number and delivers a small plastic token with a secure barcode on.
A simple scan of the barcode on the “magic eye” of the locker will start the process of releasing the locking mechanism, allowing you to securely leave your belongings out of temptations way. Once finished, lock the door and take your taken with you, maybe tied around your wrist with one of the provided bands, and enjoy they day at the beach.
The whole process is secure and automated, but whereas computerisation tends to replace workers in many of the factories around the world and such, this system also generates work for local people.
On the Orihuela Costa, there is now a full time employee who looks after the lockers and provides support whenever needed. Fluent in both Spanish and English, you can be reassured that, although unlikely, if you do run into problems there is somebody on hand to help.
The brains behind the scheme, Jef Van Hyfte who created the idea along with Koen Mortelmans, explained that “we envision expansion next year to have several beaches in the north as in the south of Spain who are hiring mobile lockers. Therefore, we intend to hire more people in the upcoming years”.
Jef also explained how the system has received worldwide interest, as they “weekly receive requests from all over the world, the USA, Costa Rica, Brazil, Portugal and so on. We now also have a unit in Antwerp subway station in Belgium and we foresee a steady growth, mostly in Spain but also in other countries”.