For about five years I used to play in a hotel band knocking out pasodobles for elderly Spaniards because in the winter they were the majority of hotel guests.
These elderly visitors were the lifeline of the hotels on the Costa Tropical during the winter; they weren’t great spenders but they brought in enough funds to the hotels coffers to keep them open.
The reason why there were legions of pensioners was thanks to Imserso, which was a Government programme to provide susidised holiday for pensioners, the benefit of which was two fold: inject money into the hotelier sector and give pensioners a break in the mild and benign climate of the southern coast, which would have a beneficial affect on their collective health and thus the public health system.
The trouble is that this year, they’re not coming.
The company that had for years had the contract from the Goverment to organise it all, Mundosenior, lost it – the Government wanted to cut costs. Rather than taking this decision lying down, Mundosenior decided to do it all off their own backs, mounting a rival offer to the official one. Their offers were good and quite a few hotels that worked with Imserso switched to the tried-and-trusted (but now private) deal with Mundosenior.
The biggest blow was yet to come because winter 2020/2021 there will be no Imserso nor Mundosenior, owing to Covid-19 and the instability of the health situation.
This lack of stable guests couldn’t have come at a worse time for the struggling hotels, obviously.
(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)