Tourism assumes that Imserso trips will continue to be suspended until the situation improves sanitary. The travel program for people aged 65 and over, whose 2020/21 season should begin on October 15, has been canceled since last March. Months later, the outlook remains the same and the most optimistic forecasts estimate that travel can be resumed in March 2021.
Given the more than possible cancellation of the Imserso, the whole of the tourism sector claims launch in 2021, in an extraordinary way, alternative programs and similar to this. The objective is none other than to reactivate national demand. These options include programs for healthcare professionals, the military, and people under 25 years of age. They also talk about extending the dates of the trips beyond what the program stipulates. In short, different formulas to try to boost tourism, which accounts for almost 13% of GDP.
However, from the direction of the program, which depends from this legislature on the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, directed by Pablo Iglesias, they have not yet ruled on the matter. A silence that worries the whole of this sector.
“The reality is that the Imserso has not yet ruled on what its decision will be. We are very aware that with the current situation the program will not be able to start on October 15 ”, explains to ABC Nuria Montes, general secretary of Hosbec, the hotel association of Benidorm and the Valencian Community. César Gutiérrez, president of the Business Federation of Territorial Associations of Spanish Travel Agencies, also complains about the lack of communication: «To date we have not received any news about the trips del Imserso, nor have they contacted us. With the new management we have no idea what is happening.
The Imserso is a vital program for tourism to function during the low season. Specific, launches 900,000 trips for people over 65 both for the islands, as well as for the coastline and the interior of the peninsula. Thanks to him, the sector has a turnover of around 500 million euros, while the economic impact is around 1,000 million, according to Hosbec. Figures that with the current paralysis will disappear if alternatives are not put.
Tourism activity has been one of the most affected by the pandemic. As reported by ABC, at the beginning of August, during the peak season, there were 800,000 fewer people working in the sector. With the cancellation of the Imserso there are about 90,000 jobs at stake, direct and indirect, according to industry sources. Thus, they hope that the Government will agree to extend the ERTE until, at least, January 2021, since international demand is on the ground. “Possibly some hotels in provincial capitals will remain open. Here, in Benidorm, we estimate that 10% will remain open, when the 140 hotels that exist remain open all year, ”says Montes.
Another question that the sector has is what will happen to the part of the budget not executed this year. For César Gutiérrez, from Fetave, it should be used to try to help companies.