The Imserso programme runs until the end of April. | Daniel Espinosa


This coming weekend, the first Spanish senior citizens on state-subsidised Imserso holidays will arrive in Mallorca. They will be staying in Arenal (Llucmajor), where five hotels have signed up for the programme that will run until April.

Mundiplan, the consortium with rights to sell Imserso in the Balearics, will be bringing some 140,000 holidaymakers, 80,000 of them to Mallorca, 40,000 to Ibiza and 20,000 to Minorca. The number has been drastically reduced compared with the past as there are only twenty participating hotels; there have previously been 44. Hotels have decided to opt out as they maintain that payment they receive - 23.50 euros per guest per night - is not profitable.

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Hoteliers raised this with the tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, some weeks ago. They were seeking possible additional payment to cover the costs of Imserso. He ruled this out, certainly for the rest of this year, but hinted that there may be some assistance in the 2023 budget.

Even so, Negueruela has been reluctant to follow the example of Valencia, where the regional government has offered an additional six euros per guest per night.

"We will study what support measures there may be and will be expressing our concern about the specifications of the contract to the Spanish government. The state is responsible, and it would be surprising for regional authorities to complement the contract, as this would appear as if we were amending a contract because it has deficiencies." The Balearic government's view is that "key factors" in the Balearics need to be taken into account, "such as salaries under the hotel industry agreement, which are much higher than in other regions".