Plans for tourist "tests" in June could be undermined by ERTE rules.

26-05-2020Teresa Ayuga

Hoteliers in Majorca are confirming that opening hotels in June will not be viable unless there is an amendment to the existing ERTE provisions.

Four hotel groups are ready to take the "test" tourists in the second half of June, but if they open before for the first of July, they risk losing social security bonuses that apply under the state of alarm. Gabriel Llobera, president of the Association of Hotel Chains, says that "taking employees out of ERTE before June 30 implies a loss of these bonuses for the workers whose employment is suspended". "The current regulation penalises businesses which revive employment before the first of July."

He adds that if one establishment opens, a hotel company will have to assume the cost of the social security bonuses for the company's other hotels, even though they remain closed. "Instead of encouraging the opening of hotels, the opposite is the case, and this isn't logical in the current economic situation brought about by the coronavirus crisis."

In addition, he suggests that ERTE will mean delaying the opening of hotels until the second week of July. This is because a week is needed to prepare facilities, especially given the safety protocols that are now necessary. Therefore, foreign tourism, rather than commencing on the first of July, will have to wait at least a week.

The opening of hotels through the summer will depend on demand. At present, there are only "good intentions", as tour operators currently don't know when to start their scheduling. "Making any kind of forecast about the number of hotels which will open is difficult until it is known the regions of Europe from which tourists will come and which resorts are likely to benefit the most."

The complication with ERTE has been highlighted in the Balearic government's document sent to the Spanish government regarding authorisation of test flights and stays in the second half of June.

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