Dear Three Wise Men, (or Government, because in the case of companies the “kings” are the Governments)
You already know that we are a sector of little to ask and of much to give. Since the late 1950s we have behaved very well, and have contributed decisively to the construction of modern and prosperous Spain, with an essential economic contribution to our system to which we must also add the winds of modernity that have always been come to Spain from the hands of tourism.
But in the past year 2020 things have changed. For reasons completely unrelated to our activity, we have seen mobility at all levels paralyzed and with this all tourism was frozen since mid-March of last year. Since then, there are many companies that have not yet been able to recover their activity and almost 100% of the hotel companies in the Valencian Community are in an extreme situation.
For this reason, we do not want to let you write this letter, not with gifts, but with proposals that we consider vital for our survival.
1. That the extension of the Estes be agreed throughout the year 2021 and that they be reduced to 100% of the social security contributions. Although we had high hopes for spring, the truth is that the reactivation is not expected until the gates of summer, so it is ESSENTIAL to extend the Estes as much as necessary during 2021. But also, at this time in the As negotiations begin with the social agents for this extension, it is also more NECESSARY than ever to give 100% discount on Estes for the Nae of hotels, regardless of their size and staff. They have been many months already paying contributions for workers who cannot join, and what could be sustainable at the beginning of this crisis, right now it is already a ‘cement-filled life saver’ for the battered treasury that is available at the moment. And once this crisis has been overcome, to reach the immunity ratios that once again allow free mobility between people in the national and international environment, the Erie system must be as flexible as the tourist reactivation itself.
2. That a program of direct aid to the sector be launched: ICOS or the remains of the budget that were left in a drawer of the Ministry no longer serve us; the organization and implementation of a plan of direct aid to the sector is necessary to guarantee its survival during 2021, as the rest of European countries are doing. Tourism is being especially punished and the Spanish and regional governments are not orchestrating effective, agile and quick responses. As we have already announced, if the aid arrives in 2022 or 2023, it will possibly be ‘post-mortem’ aid
3. Let Holy Week arrive with completely controlled health figures that allow reactivating, at least, national mobility. Now is the time to stop personal ism and corporatism and accelerate as much as possible the vaccination of the more population every day the better. That there is not a single vaccine left unused
4. That the European Union regain its role in the unification of criteria for the reactivation of mobility and for the certification of diagnostic tests and health passports for those vaccinated. That national protectionism end and that each country make the border on its own. Reliable, rapid and inexpensive tests must be implemented quickly in order to accelerate this recovery of international mobility that is so necessary for all.
5. That the town councils do an examination of conscience and join this plan for the salvation of tourism. Bonuses and offsets from local taxes and fees will also be a fuel for these drowning hotel companies. It has been many years of contributions to municipal budgets and now it is necessary a year of partial repayment to be able to sustain this activity that brings so much benefit.
6. That the announced European Funds are truly useful. With these funds we not only live in sustainability and digitization, but it is also time to take advantage of this financing for strategic investments, to compensate for the regional under-financing and the unfair budget allocation to tourist municipalities and the implementation of investments in mature destinations for their comprehensive conversion.
Examples of useful and necessary investments are not lacking: from the definitive impulse to the Mediterranean corridor to recover the AP7 as a modern and fast road for people, through the completion of unfinished investments such as the cultural center of Benidorm or the Paseo de Poniente, the Palacio de Congresos in Alicante, or the plan for the management of parking in coastal areas for the province of Castellón.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.