Spain's tourism minister, Reyes Maroto. | Daniel Espinosa


The CEHAT Spanish Hotels Confederation has called for immediate measures to reactivate the tourism industry.

During a meeting with Spain's tourism minister, Reyes Maroto, the confederation's executive committee urged the minister to immediately implement a contingency plan and a package of incentives for the survival and reactivation of tourism.

The CEHAT president, Jorge Marichal, having learned that the government has not made any representations to the European Commission for tourism businesses to receive European aid, stressed the immediacy of this action in order to prevent the destruction of employment and the loss of thousands of companies. "Time is against us. There needs to be immediate action."

The measures which CEHAT considers essential for the tourism industry's survival include the "pressing need" for specific ERTE conditions which should remain in force at least until Easter 2021. Depending on the tourism situation, these should allow the entry and exit of workers (into and out of employment) and have social security bonuses for affected workers. Maroto said that "they are working" on this and are considering the specific needs of the tourism industry.

Marichal stressed the importance of a special "renewal" plan that is both "concrete and ambitious" in reactivating tourism. "Clear, strong and swift action must be urgently taken at national and European levels. Many of our competitor countries have special plans for tourism, and we are offering public-private collaboration to design these immediately."

A further measure highlighted by CEHAT is the creation of tourism vouchers. These could help in reactivating the low-season demand that has disappeared because of the cancellation of the Imserso programme of subsidised holidays for senior citizens. On Imserso, the confederation believes that it needs "to be redesigned in order to adapt to the new circumstances after the pandemic".