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The resumption of the Imserso program pits the agencies against the hotels over prices

The Central Administrative Tribunal for Contractual Appeals (TACRC) This Wednesday he lifted the suspension of the Imserso trips of this season. In this way, the program will be able to begin next October, although from the Spanish Confederation of Tourist Accommodation (Cehat) have already announced that they will appeal this decision to the National audience. This situation divides two sectors closely related to tourism, such as travel agencies and hotels.

The TACRC has dismissed the appeals presented by both the Cehat and the Tourist Hotel Business Association of the Valencian Community (Hosbec). In addition, the precautionary suspension has not delayed the contracting, so the schedule for the award of the lots in September is maintained and that the trips begin in October.

However, it must be taken into account that, despite the fact that the trips begin in October, the hotel sector warns that the Imserso travel program could “end up” since the conditions offered to them are “immoral.” The president of Cehat, Jorge Marichal, emphasizes the fact that “according to the specifications currently established, hoteliers cannot cover the costs of all the activities that are part of these trips.”

Meanwhile, from the Business Federation of Territorial Associations of Spanish Travel Agencies (Fetave) they have their own position. “We are satisfied with the rapid resolution by the TACRC of the appeals presented by the hotel associations and that with this end the stoppage of the tender so that the bidding can go ahead and meet the program deadlines,” they explain to this diary.

«From Fetave we did not enter into the substance of the appeals presented but we did think that the resolution would be in this sense since they were very similar to those presented in the last tender and were already rejected. If we are fully confident that they decide to appeal or not in contentious proceedings, there will be no stoppage of the tender and the beginning of the trips, which for the travel agencies is an absolute priority ”, they add.

Impact of the coronavirus

From the travel agency sector they defend that this program is currently a fundamental boost for companies in the tourism sector, and especially for agencies that have gone months without billing as a result of the coronavirus health crisis. Despite being so resounding, they do agree on the need to reevaluate some of the aspects that have traditionally been part of the program.

“Although we consider that the bidding documents guarantee an award with criteria of 100% objective evaluation that, although they do not avoid eventual appeals on the evaluations, they will allow a very rapid resolution of these with total transparency and guaranteeing the total objectivity of the awards, these may have improvement points and in fact since Fatwa we raised several with respect to the previous ones, some collected and others not, “they say.

«We believe that their main problem is that the participatory process in the phase prior to its preparation not open enough to the opinions of the sectors that make up the body of the program, hotels, carriers and travel agencies, a situation that is repeated from tender to tender and that, we honestly do not understand, because it would contribute to improving the specifications and programs, “they conclude.

For his part, Marichal has been clear and explained that in his opinion the Government «is missing an opportunity to make the program sustainable and to leverage the Spanish tourism system in a difficult time.

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