By Chris King •
Updated: 23 Sep 2023 • 2:18
Image of pensioners at the beach.
UPDATE: Saturday, September 23 at 2:10 am
THE problem surrounding the new season of Imserso trips for pensioners in Spain appears to have been rectified.
Vicente Fenollar, the President and CEO of the Ávoris group assured this Friday, September 22, that the company was working with the Imserso team to be able to launch the programmes and put the seats on sale. It was hoped that people could start travelling at the beginning of November, reported levante-emv.com.
Fenollar explained that they began working on this implementation after the decision of the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Resources (TACRC) was announced last Tuesday 19. It dismissed all the appeals that had been presented against the awarding of the lots to the Ávoris group.
Speaking at the XVIII annual conference on risk management in the tourism sector of WTM in Palma, the CEO insisted that for travel agencies, airlines, transporters and hotels, it was: ‘very positive for the Spanish economy, both for the end of the year and for the first half of 2024’.
The Imserso programme receives a subsidy of €71 million from the State Fenollar highlighted. He pointed out that according to statements provided by the Hotel Business Federation of Mallorca (FEHM): ‘Our studies indicate that for every euro it invests, the state recovers 3, it is one of the most profitable investments in the state, which has an impact on the well-being of the elderly and the sector’.
Asked whether there would be difficulties if there were hotels wanting to participate in the programme – as has happened in the Balearic Islands, where fewer establishments participate – Fenollar indicated that there would be no problem: ‘We have contracts with the hotels and we will have the hotel offer prepared so that the elderly can travel’.
Tuesday, September 12 at 00:01 am
THE Imserso trips for pensioners in Spain that were scheduled to begin in October have been temporarily postponed.
This comes as the result of appeals that were lodged by Soltour, Nautalia and Mundiplan against the awarding of almost 900,000 places to just one company, Ávoris Corporación Empresarial.
After the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Resources (TACRC) decided to maintain the suspension of the three Imserso batches for the 2023/2024 season, it looks like the whole programme could be delayed by as much as three months, according to larazon.es.
According to the minutes of the State Contracting Platform, the court justified that: ‘The analysis of the reasons underlying the filing of the aforementioned resources shows that the damages that could arise from lifting the suspension are difficult or impossible to repair, so it is appropriate to agree to maintain the suspension’.
This ruling will leave the hotels that participate in the Imserso scheme without a lot of business that the programme normally generates for them throughout the autumn period.
Ávoris Corporación Empresarial was the winner of all three Imserso lots for this season. It is the first time in the history of the holiday programme that one company has won the exclusive right to sell the complete package.
The company also presented allegations against the resources of Soltour, Nautalia and Mundiplan. In their belief that they won the contest fair and square by offering the best prices, Ávoris said it hoped that the Court would rule in their favour.
Their offer obtained the maximum score in all three lots. For Lot 1, which is the Costa Peninsular, they scored 94.24 points. Lot 2 is Island Coast Tourism, and includes Balearic and Canary Islands, for which the company scored 100 points. In Lot 3, for Getaway Tourism and European Origin, they scored 97.82 points.
Soltour, which is part of the Piñero Group, described the award as ‘unfair’ in a statement. The company insisted that it had not been made in accordance with the bases of the contract specifications.
After exploring ‘all possible avenues’ for a solution, Soltour said that it had been forced to present the subsequent appeal rejecting this award made exclusively to Ávoris.
The company insisted that it did not wish to ‘harm the program’. Proof of this it said was the fact that it had previously presented allegations before the Imserso Contracting Board to reevaluate the company’s proposal presented for Lot 1.
Mundiplan also lodged an appeal. The temporary union of companies (UTE) made up of Iberia, Alsa, and the IAG7 travel agency, had filed for Lots 1 and 2. The joint venture formed by Seniorplan, Nautalia and Autocares Vera, had presented an offer for Lot 3.
This is not the first time that bidding companies have challenged the final result of the competition. In the 2021-22 season, resources and the coronavirus pandemic meant that the travel programme did not start until January 2022. That resulted in only 60 per cent of the available packages being executed.
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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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