Monday, November 29

Imserso travel on the Costa Blanca

Older tourists at the reception of the Venus hotel, which has reopened this September. | DAVID REVENGA

Other hotels are also working on finding retirees on their own and, on the other hand, following the initiative of Mundosenior, another tour operator, Viajes El Cortes Inglés, has joined the race for retirees and offers stays in Benidorm from 220 euros per week. Hotels react in this way because it has been detected that there is a great demand for so-called senior tourism, from the age of 60, a part of which cannot even aspire to enroll in the Imserso due to not meeting age criteria.

“We must renew the stale and old model of the Imserso, betting on one of quality and services”



The Internet and the good prices offered by the airlines in low season (airlines prefer to fly to be on the ground), facilitate this initiative that alleviates, in a certain way, the delay of the Imserso program, although it is also true that after the pandemic it did not all establishments have resources to launch on their own in search of the retiree who wants to travel in winter. The city of Alicante also trusts in attracting retirees: the Maya hotel, receives groups of Galician retirees who participate in circuits throughout Spain. Benidorm has 80% of the plant open, the city of Alicante has 100% and 90% is operational in the rest of the province. Spanish family tourism has started to decline due to the start of classes in schools, institutes and universities, but the British market responds and even There are hotels in the Rincón de Loix area of ​​Benidorm that are already 80% dedicated to senior English tourists.

Retired tourists are the group that helps keep the hotel plant open during the low season. | DAVID REVENGA


For its part, Viajes El Corte Inglés has also launched its own catalog under the name of «ECO Holidays» offering cheap trips until June 2022. He illustrates it, precisely, with a photograph of retirees, and includes destinations on the peninsular coast, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, cultural circuits in Spain and organized trips abroad (Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Egypt and the Czech Republic, among others. ). The first ones are the cheapest, being able to hire seven nights in Benidorm from 220 euros a week in a three-star hotel, a category excluded by the Imserso.

“The hotels do everything possible to work, stay open and prevent people from ending up in an ERTE”



Hotels and Travel El Corte Inglés follow in the footsteps of Mundosenior, which on Monday began selling its own holiday program on the Costa Blanca for the elderly outside the Ministry of Social Rights. The operator offers trips to Spanish retirees with stays of eight, ten and fifteen days, transport included, from 260 euros and from 305 euros and 395 euros in the case of the Balearic and Canary Islands. Clients do not have to show the official accreditation of being registered in the Osero.

Hotels on the Costa Blanca launch their own “Imserso” to attract and attract retirees from all over Europe

Contained demand

Nuria Montes, Secretary General of Hosbec, underlines, in this sense that «in the end what you are going to achieve the government with its uselessness To activate the program is to load it up and harm the retirees who have less economic possibilities to travel. What is happening is incomprehensible and it is normal for hotels to make their own offers, because what we want is to work, stay open and have as few employees as possible at ERTE ». Montes insists that “there is no room for anyone to let a social vacation program die, which also benefits the government itself, which avoids paying unemployment benefits,” he asserts. We don’t understand it. There is a very large pent-up demand from retirees in Spain who can pay a little more for their hotel stay and they are sure to be successful. There have always been offers for the segment of retirees with greater purchasing power but now they are going to multiply ».

Victoria Puche, president of the Provincial Association of Hotels of Alicante, warns that “any negotiation that is delayed right now with the hotels does not lead to anything other than losses, and although the greatest damage is registered in Benidorm, there are hotels in the province that work with the Imserso and that will be having a hard time due to the uncertainty. Puche emphasizes that «senior tourism is key in the low season to break seasonality, and it is normal for hotels to close private agreements with travel agencies that organize, for example, tours of Spain, so that their clients stay overnight in our hotels when they arrive in Alicante ». Puche points out that «Although we are doing better, there is still a long way to go to regain normalcy. We come from a very bad year ».

“It was time to bet on an ambitious program and they have gone the same way”



José Mancebo, director of the Costa Blanca Tourist Board, is disappointed. «We already warned in February that if there was a moment to show off and bet on other more innovative formulas, that moment was now. Unfortunately, we have found ourselves as usual, but with fewer places, shorter stays and not very ambitious in terms of budget, to which is added the same complications as always to be implemented ». Mancebo stresses that «I hope that this new experience will help us to define the strategy of social travel and to agree on more ambitious programs, including intergenerational ones, that allow, for example, that the elderly can travel with other members of their families, or, well, that the elderly can carry out other types of activities and that the different administrations can participate ”, points out the director of the Board of Trustees. «Personally, I think it’s about a question of justice with the segment of the population that has suffered the worst and the economic sector that has probably suffered the most from the effects of this pandemic, our elders and the travel industry, our tourism ”, asserts the head of the Board.

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