Hoteliers have reelected the Tenerife businessman Jorge Marichal as president of the national employers’ association of the sector after he called elections after his conviction for a tax crime was known. The executive committee of the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (Cehat) had already backed Marichal after the conviction came to light. Marichal made his position available but the committee asked him to continue. However, the president of the Cehat chose on April 12 – five days after the executive committee of the sectorial employers’ association gave him its support – to call elections and present his candidacy. This Thursday, the plenary session of the confederation unanimously decided to renew Marichal, who also chairs the Hotel and Non-Hotel Association of Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro (Ashotel).
The Cehat thus follows in the footsteps of Ashotel, which also closed ranks around its president, sentenced to two years in prison, a fine of 585,896 euros and loss of the possibility of obtaining public subsidies for having defrauded 292,948 euros in a transaction for the sale of some apartments. Marichal, who resigned from his positions in the Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations – the CEOE, the country’s large employers’ association with which Cehat is associated – has already paid off the debt with the Public Treasury and has also paid the entire penalty economical. The Tenerife hotelier, who became president of the Cehat for the first time on December 10, 2019 and whose candidacy for reelection was the only one presented, thus continues to lead the Spanish hoteliers in the midst of the greatest crisis in remembrance of the sector.
Marichal explained after his appointment that the turning point towards the recovery of the hospitality industry in particular and tourism in general should be July 2021. For this, the president of Cehat sees the achievement of seven major objectives as vital: the extension of the files of temporary regulation of use of force majeure until December 31; the total exemption from business contributions to Social Security for employees included in ERTE; the acceleration of the vaccination rate, taking into account the professionals with the highest “risk of exposure” to covid-19; the implementation of the digital health certificate at European level; the granting of direct aid and agility in the management of European extraordinary funds; the extension of the terms of mortgage deficiencies and bank loan moratoriums; and the launch of tourist vouchers together with the reactivation of Imserso trips.
“Our wish is May July 2021 be a turning point and that many of the hotels that have been closed for a year, without receiving a single tourist and without entering a single euro but constantly facing expenses, open again so as not to close again and that the arrival of guests is Produce progressively, ”explained Marichal. The businessman will be accompanied in the direction of Cehat by four vice presidents: Gabriel García, from the Madrid Hotel Business Association; Santiago García-Nieto, from the Maresme Hospitality Association; María Frontera, from the Mallorca Hotel Business Federation; and José Carlos Escribano, from the Costa del Sol Hospitality Business Association. The other two Canaries in the new Cehat board are José María Mañaricúa, president of the Las Palmas Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Businessmen, and Susana Pérez, from the Insular Association of Hotel Entrepreneurs of Lanzarote.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.