The importance of the tourism sector in our country is clear, and the damage that the pandemic has done to it as well. Tourism went from representing 12.4% of the country’s GDP in 2019 to just 4.3% last year. After the end of the State of Alarm, and without yet having very clear the restrictions that will remain in force during the summer months, the sector struggles to stay afloat and carry out a campaign to ensure their survival.
The reactivation of the Imserso vacation programs, paralyzed since March 2020, is scheduled for the month of October. But while waiting for the public tender to be published and the machinery to roll, part of the tourism sector has decided to go ahead and start selling trips to the elderly.
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Hotel companies, transport companies and travel agencies are wary of the Government’s announcement of a return to travel for the elderly in October. Photo: Getty Creative
Supporting the reactivation of travel in the elderly population is the most logical thing to do. Vaccination is going well and they have been the first to receive the doses. In addition, it is a market that is always ready to travel.
The number of people with a complete regimen registered reaches 6,502,978 vaccinated people. This means that more than six million people already have all the doses of the coronavirus vaccine administered, 13.7% of the population.
Given the lack of concrete measures to support the sector, which is very weakened, and since Imserso trips will not resume until after the summer, at the earliest, Ávoris Corporación Empresarial, born from the merger of the Barceló Group with Globalia, has decided to move the action. On May 10, he launched a senior tourism program through Mundosenior. Specifically, the offer covers the months of May to September, although it seems that its expansion is planned.
However, this show comes with criticism. The use of Mundosenior raises some controversy since users might think that it is the true social tourism program of the Imserso, whose main difference is that the latter is partially subsidized by the Government.
The Azul Marino agency has also anticipated the Imserso and has put 5,000 seats on sale so that those over 60 can travel from June.
For its part, the Fuenlabrada Cultural Association for the Elderly (Acumafu) offers 10,000 places for the elderly. The first two calls are planned to travel from Madrid to Benidorm and Torremolinos for 150 and 200 euros, respectively, and the only requirement to be able to go is to have received the vaccine.
35 years of Imserso
In 1985, the National Institute of Social Services, a body then dependent on the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, initiated, on an experimental basis, a partially financed Vacation Program for those over 65 years of age. Now this service has been in operation for 35 years with resounding success. Each season expands places.
Economically, it is very profitable. The State benefits indirectly from these trips, which it partially subsidizes. It is estimated that for every euro that the Government invests in Imserso trips, it receives 1.56 euros. This benefit is achieved thanks to the fact that Imserso trips favor the creation and maintenance of employment in the tourism sector. Without these trips, many workers in these establishments would end up unemployed.
A success that cannot be wasted another year.
The other side of the coin