By Chris King • 22 March 2023 • 1:54
Image of pensioners at the beach.
Imserso trips will take a 180-degree turn next season after complaints from pensioners and hoteliers. Last Tuesday, March 14, the Council of Ministers authorised the new travel contract for the next 2023-2024 season. It includes an increase of 70,000 seats compared to the previous season, reaching a total of 900,000 spaces.
For the first time, there will be destinations in all 52 provinces of Spain, with a 14 per cent increase in the value of the contracts, rising to more than €300 million.
Without abandoning the traditional coastal and island destinations – which still account for 75 per cent of the offer, with 440,000 and 230,000 beds respectively – the most notable improvements are the incorporation of all the provinces and their respective capitals.
There are 34 new capitals this time, along with 10 new cultural circuits in the provinces of Albacete, Almeria, Avila, Caceres, Castellon, Gerona, Lerida, Tenerife and Toledo. A selection of 19 new nature routes are added, 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.
The increase in the number of places occurs in the inland tourism lot which rises by up to 212,000 spaces. These will have a greater cultural offer, which includes, almost as a pilot project, areas of special cultural interest in Spain for which 1,000 places will be reserved.
Another of the main novelties of the next Imserso travel season will be a more than possible increase in rates to offset the effect that inflation is having on hotel costs. Although the Ministry of Social Rights has not specified figures for the possible increase, it has already set limits. If there is an increase in prices, in no case will it be higher than the increase in pensions.
Currently, 78 per cent of the trip is covered by the beneficiary and 22 per cent by the General State Administration. Prices range from a minimum of €116 euros to a maximum of €405.
Elements expressed by the elderly will also be incorporated into the new tender, such as the increase in places with accommodation in a room for individual use, which increases from two to 10 per cent. The processing of trips will be expedited by implementing electronic registration so that users can check themselves into their accommodation by showing their identity documents.
Once the trips are underway, compliance with the quality commitments will be audited. This year in the contest, companies can bet on higher quality instead of a lower price. They have a dispersed offer, with the largest possible number of locations, with accessible hotels, and fast and efficient transportation.
As highlighted by Social Rights, the inter-territorial balance will be maintained in the initial reservation of places by origin. This means that anyone can access any trip regardless of their place of origin, and can ensure the accessibility of accommodation and medical security. In this new season, Imserso wants to continue guaranteeing the promotion of active ageing and the fight against loneliness.
After its authorisation by the Council of Ministers, the new contract will be published on the Public Sector Contracting Platform in the coming days, opening the period for the submission of offers by companies, 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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