By Chris King • 05 October 2021 • 19:53
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Hoteliers association Hosbec has more or less resigned itself to the Imserso trips not taking place this year. This is according to Toni Mayor, the president of this body, who has described the situation as “a total disaster”.
Imserso, which specialises in trips for pensioners, has already been on hold for around 18 months due to the pandemic, but now it seems unlikely that anything will happen until 2022. It was in January that the president first voiced his fears, and now it is becoming reality, due to the government’s lack of speed in awarding the lots.
Awarding of the lots has not yet taken place, so, being optimistic, if it was to happen between this week and next week, the sale of the tourist packages would not begin in October. Agencies would not have sufficient time in which to prepare their program due to the considerable volume of 800,000 places they offer the Imserso.
If one assumes that the packages will begin to be sold at the earliest in November, the trips would not begin to take place until December. Even this of course depends on whether the process manages to be unlocked in the next few weeks.
The program remains stalled due to a precautionary suspension derived from the hoteliers’ appeals against the specifications, due to an incident between Halcon Viajes and Logitravel. This was referred to the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), and now also for the opening of another hearing procedure for Mundiplan (Iberia and Alsa) to present new offers in two lots where “abnormally low” proposals have been detected.
Pensioners who benefit from the Imserso tourism program are not the only losers, but also agencies, hotels, restaurants, tourist guides, means of transport, and other services that maintaining employment and economic activity from it in low season.
While waiting for the Imserso to react and launch its tourism program, other tour operators have taken this opportunity to break into the market, by launching their own social tourism packages at equally competitive prices.
Mundosenior, tour operator Avoris Enterprise Corporation, has already put on sale its particular Imserso trips privately, starting from €230. Vacation Club, part of Viajes El Corte Ingles has also taken the initiative, offering packages from €220. These are available on dates from the end of September, to June 2022, including full board, flexible cancellation, and hotels between 3 and 4 stars, 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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