By Chris King •
Updated: 17 Mar 2023 • 1:32
Image of pensioners at the beach.
Spain’s Council of Ministers authorised the new contract for the 2023-2024 season of Imserso trips for pensioners this Thursday, March 16. As a result, there will be an increase of 70,000 places compared to 2022, with a total of 900,000 being offered.
Among the novelties on offer will be destinations in 52 provinces of Spain. The variety will be expanded with the creation of 10 cultural circuits in the provinces of Albacete, Almería, Ávila, Cáceres, Castellon, Girona, Lleida, Tenerife and Toledo-
There will also be 19 new nature routes, including the Sierra Nevada, the natural park of Las Medulas, the natural park of Las Tablas de Daimiel, the Ribeira Sacra, and the Valley of Leitzaran.
In addition, more than 1,000 places will be reserved for itineraries with literary, musical, theatrical or gastronomic cultural themes in areas of special cultural interest in Spain.
A greater variety in the comfort of transportation will also be a bonus. For example, the elderly will be given the opportunity to travel by AVE instead of having to make long journeys by bus.
The new tender will also incorporate elements previously expressed by the elderly, such as an increase in the number of places with single-occupancy room accommodation. Also, by implementing electronic registration, the processing of trips will be streamlined, enabling users to be accredited at the accommodation by showing their identity documents.
According to Social Rights, the inter-territorial balance will be maintained in the initial reservation of places by origin. This will mean that anyone can access any trip regardless of their place of origin, to ensure the accessibility of accommodation and medical safety. In this new season, Imserso wants to continue to ensure the promotion of active ageing and the fight against loneliness.
It remains to be seen whether the new trips will raise their rates for next year, although it should be remembered that 78 per cent of each trip is covered by each beneficiary and 22 per cent by the General State Administration.
In any case, the Imserso never fixes the contracting price of the hotels. Instead, it establishes a bidding process in which the tour operators compete, and they are the ones who have to negotiate the prices, as reported by lasprovincias.es.
Following the authorisation by the Council of Ministers, the new contract will be published on the Public Sector Procurement Platform in the coming days, opening the period for submission of bids by companies.
As reported by the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, the estimated value for the next contract will be around €300 million, 14 per cent more than the previous one.
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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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