By Chris King • 06 August 2021 • 19:52
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IMSERSO trips for pensioners this winter have been temporarily suspended following an appeal by HOSBEC, the Costa Blanca hoteliers association against the specifications included in the deals
The ever-popular Imserso trips for pensioners, which last year had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, have been hit once again this year, having been due to start in October, with 816,029 places already applied for, the trips have been temporarily suspended by the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Appeals (TCARC), pending the resolution of the appeal presented by HOSBEC, the Benidorm hotel management on the Costa Blanca.
HOSBEC had appealed to TCARC at the end of July, regarding the content of the Imserso trip specifications, claiming that there had been a lack of cost study, ‘de facto’ exclusion of 3-star hotels, and extensions without price review, “in a scenario of inflation and skyrocketing costs”, and requested the proceedings be put on hold, in order to “remedy serious defects in these specifications that seriously harm the hotel sector”, with the Spanish hotel confederation CEHAT allegedly also filing an appeal against these same specifications.
Nuria Montes, the general secretary of HOSBEC, explained to Europa Press, that the decision to present allegations was due to the fact that the specifications “did not take into account the appropriate economic scenario, since the scenario it posed forced the hotels to work well below its cost price”, and according to the employer, the obligation to study the labour cost in a service (the hotelier) is not complied with, in which personnel expenses represent more than 50 per cent of its value.
HOSBEC provided a statistical report prepared by the University of Alicante, on the unit costs borne by hotel establishments linked to the Social Tourism program, “We in the resource have attached our cost studies, that tell us that the hotels that work with the program, their minimum cost price ranges between €27 and €33, so the gap is quite important with what the Imserso has raised”, pointed out Ms Montes, adding that a typical average rate in winter in the Valencian Community for a double room in only accommodation was €64.40, while Imserso valued it at €46, including full board, with water and wine, entertainment, and a long list of services.
Ms Montes also highlighted that “the hiring of four-star hotels was also rewarded in an unjustified and disproportionate way, and the three-star hotels that have been the ones that have been supporting this program in recent years are harmed. They are hotels that are very adjusted in their situation and size to the requirements of Imserso tourists, so we do not understand this reason for discrimination”.
Toni Mayor, the HOSBEC president explained the final reason for the appeal, in that since the specifications are set for a three-year period, a first annuity, and two extensions, that are executed with the simple will of the Imserso “without any kind of economic review. Staying in this underpriced situation until 2024 is an unacceptable situation for the hotel sector in a year when costs are runaway”.
Adding, “We have had no choice but to present this appeal, because otherwise, it would mean three years of misery and humiliation for businessmen, as well as unprecedented damage”, as reported by larazon.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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