Tuesday, May 18

Hoteliers demand direct aid to survive until tourism recovers | Economy

A worker at a Torremolinos hotel closed due to the coronavirus crisis, on September 17.
A worker at a Torremolinos hotel closed due to the coronavirus crisis, on September 17.Garcia-Santos / El Pais

The tourism sector in general and hoteliers in particular are installed on their particular groundhog day. Not a week goes by in which they do not claim new aid to the sector to stay alive until the long-awaited recovery. This Monday it was the turn of the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (Cehat), which has once again demanded the need for more direct measures.

“We need a lifeline in the form of a package of rescue measures for the sector, direct and sufficient in quantity and scope to prevent the closure of thousands of companies and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. We cannot continue with hot cloths, the sector languishes ”, warns the confederation in a statement.

The most important thing for Cehat is the direct aid, specific to hoteliers, since they consider the aid plan for the hotel and trade industry insufficient or ineffective. Although it does not leave aside other measures that have stood out since the beginning of the pandemic, such as temporary employment regulation files (ERTE), which it claims should be extended until the end of the year —for the moment they are in force until January 31—, as well as Social Security bonuses.

In addition, the confederation has requested the exemption and suspension of taxes while the suspension of activity due to the coronavirus crisis is in force, as well as the suppression of the fixed costs of contracting electrical power. It also calls for the application of low or zero interest rates for ICO loans that have been granted or will be given to the sector.

VAT and tourist voucher

On this occasion, he includes in his letter to the Magi, as Cehat calls it, the reduction of VAT and other indirect taxes on the sector during 2021. “At this time when a large part of the accommodation plant is closed and inactive and not we are having income, we also need the suspension and exemption of taxes (IBI, IAE, rates of urban waste, vehicle passage, occupation of public roads …) ”, it states in the note.

The confederation also demands an extension of the term of the moratorium in the payment of the repayment of the principal in the mortgage loans. And the creation of tourist vouchers that promote activity, in the style of what countries such as Italy have already done, as well as a digital health passport to provide more security to tourism. “It is necessary to push the demand with concrete measures for when a significant part of the population is vaccinated and immunized and with a recovered desire to travel and return to normality,” added the statement.

Jorge Marichal, president of Cehat, acknowledges in the open letter that 2020 has been the most difficult year for the sector in recent decades. Despite this, it has highlighted the work of the industry to adapt its processes and facilities to the new safety, hygiene and disinfection measures. To which he adds, in a direct message to the Government and the rest of the Administrations: “The first thing we want to ask of you is recognition. We would like tourism to occupy the position it deserves in our country ”.


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