A FORMER resident who starred in a Channel 4 show following her new life in the Costa Del Sol has revealed the struggles she encountered in setting up her tourist business during the pandemic.

Louisa Nunn, who used to live in Brighton, recently appeared in A New Life in the Sun, as she sought to set up a bed-and-breakfast in Estepona on the Spanish coast.

However, her plans to move out to Spain were threatened by the pandemic, as she found it difficult to attract a buyer for her property. In order to make it to the country before a Brexit deadline, she made the decision to rent her house out and move to Spain.

She said: "I didn't know if it was going to work out or not. It was a nightmare because there were so many things, mainly to do with Covid, that I could do nothing about. There were loads of things I tried to do, but I couldn't because of what was going on.

"Business-wise, the market disappeared, so it was financially difficult - even more so when I reached Spain. I was selling my stuff in the UK, but none of it had gone through.

"At one point I had no money to feed my cats - they were eating my spare tuna fish cans. Unless my mates had come to my rescue and lent me a few grand, I don't know what I would have done."

Although she had to lay builders off until money came through, and was forced to change her plan to open a bed-and-breakfast in favour of holiday lets, she hopes to finally open ready for Easter once she has obtained a tourist licence.

She said: "The house is just stunning - I've got a big roof terrace and I've got someone painting a mural up there. It's very quirky indeed."

Despite delays to being able to open her holiday lets, she has started a tourist business, offering tours of the town with wine and tapas.

Louisa said: "I was thinking that I would end up doing a tour a month, but ended up doing four, five, six a week. It's gone really well and we've loads of people coming back this year who want to bring their friends."

She now is hoping to hire a manager to help manage the business and expand through franchising to other parts of Spain, Gibraltar and the UK.

Louisa said that he is enjoying living in her dream home on the Spanish coast and said: "It's stunningly beautiful. The mayor invested in turning it into the garden of the Costa Del Sol, and the council covered all of the old town's streets with flowers that they maintain every day.

"They clean the streets every day and the rubbish is collected every day and, because I was living most of my time down in dirty Brighton, I fell in love with the place.

"I'll always like Brighton and I liked living there, but living in downtown Brighton is not as lovely as it used to be for many reasons."

Louisa also said that, after the death of her 91-year-old mother from cancer, there was nothing left to keep her in the city and the UK.

However, she did admit that, for all its faults, she misses the eccentricity that Brighton has to offer.

She said: "I do really love Brighton, but you do really need different things at different times of your life. I loved it for many reasons but it was just time for me to take a step back and have less of a rat race life."

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