One-year protection plan to get the tourism sector on Spain’s Costa Blanca tourism ‘through this nightmare alive’

LEVANTE PROMENADE: Eerily deserted amid State of Alarm Photo credit: Benidorm town hall

Costa Blanca’s hotel and catering business association has put together a one-year protection plan to try to ensure the tourism sector ‘comes out of this nightmare alive.’

IN it, the Benidorm, Costa Blanca and Valencia Region Hotel Association (HOSBEC) outlines ‘concrete measures’ to get the industry through unprecedented difficult times, which it is calling on the government to put in place.

Hosbec warns that a large number of companies will enter “a phase of ‘hibernation'” and urges governments to offer special protection.

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It wants to see labour, financial, fiscal and health measures put in place to help businesses recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic – particularly in light of the fact there appears to be no immediate end to imposed closures in sight.

Earlier today, EWN reported a ‘pick-up’ in hotel bookings from August in the resort, but that does not offer any immediate solutions.

Hosbec stresses the tourism sector is experiencing “what is the most important crisis in its history” and has sent its proposals to business organisations, Chambers of Commerce, national, regional and local politicians to rally their support.

The ‘fundamental measures’ include a special plan for the protection of employment and businesses in the tourism sector during, and in the immediate weeks after, State of Alarm.

This means an extension of up to 12 months of the ERTE with the reduction in employer social security contributions.

Hosbec points out there may be hotels and other businesses that can start operating sooner than others, but ‘a scenario must be designed that covers everyone.’

Other measures include the development of communication infrastructures and a programme of modernisation in areas in need of development.

It stresses that tourism ‘is a major contributor’ to the Spanish economy, creating and maintaining up to 2.8 million jobs, generating almost 15 per cent of the national GDP, with an annual contribution to the Spanish economy of more than €175,000 million.

Hosbec reminds “it is a sector that has asked almost nothing in return,” adding every day the idea that the recovery of tourism will be lengthy and “the risks of not undertaking a protection plan are lengthy.”



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