The first Spanish pensioner holidaymakers coming the Majorca over the low season arrived at Palma's Son Sant Joan Airport on Monday. They are on the state-subsidised vacations operated on behalf of Imserso, the national government's institute for senior citizens and social services, by Mundiplan, one of two consortia which operate these holidays.
Some 600 people arrived on Monday. There are 34 hotels in Majorca which will be accommodating the Imserso vacationers during the low season until the end of April. Other pensioner tourists are scheduled to come to Majorca under a scheme that isn't subsidised - Mundosenior Plus. It is estimated that some 340,000 holidaymakers will come to Majorca and the Balearics.
The Majorca Hoteliers Federation says of the scheme that it means jobs can be maintained for twelve months and that it helps to give a boost to destinations where there are Imserso hotels. In Majorca this means Playa de Palma predominantly.
Hotels, while they derive some benefit, have long complained about the lack of profit from Imserso holidays. There are others in the travel and tourism industry which have also made complaints, such as travel agencies because of the low commissions.
There are two Imserso operators. Mundiplan is a consortium comprising Iberia, Alsa, Gowaii and IAG7. Mundosenior is Globalia and Barceló. There is a third scheme, Mundosenior Plus, which isn't subsidised, and has been denounced by travel agencies because it causes confusion and also because its vacations are put on sale earlier than those for Imserso.