Pensioners are in luck. The Imserso travel program for the 2023-2024 season will begin in the second half of October following the decision of the Central Administrative Court of Contractual Resources (TACRC) to reject the appeals against the award of all the lots to Ávoris, a leader in the sector in Spain with brands such as B travel and Halcón Viajes, and owned by the Barceló group.
The TACRC, dependent on the Ministry of Finance, has finally dismissed the appeals of Soltour, Nautalia and Mundiplan and has lifted the precautionary suspension decreed against the award. Following the decision, Immerso, dependent on the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, is confident that the almost 900,000 beneficiaries to whom this program is directed will be able to begin the campaign normally. To this end, the organization is working so that the contracting of trips in agencies and concerted centers can be carried out in October so that the first trips start during the second half of October, reported the Ministry headed by Ione Belarra.
Now, the next steps to be taken by Imserso will be, on the one hand, signing the contract with Ávoris for the different lots and, then, sending the accreditation letters to the users of the trips. These letters contain the information that pensioners need to later book their trip. After these steps, marketing will begin by authorized agencies to begin the travel season.
Once the administrative route has been exhausted, the companies that have had their appeals rejected must now decide whether to go to court to revoke what they consider to be an unfair ruling, although such action would have no effect on the execution of the program.
Last July, Avoris was awarded the three packages of trips from the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (Imserso). The TARC’s admission on September 11 of the request for a precautionary suspension of the award while it resolved the appeals had raised all the alarms, since if those appeals had been admitted, the start of the program would have been delayed until December or January 2024. In the end, the court has ruled in favor of Ávoris, giving respite to both pensioners and the tourism sector.
Valued at 842.9 million euros and with a total subsidy amount of 71.7 million, this is a crucial program for the interests of the tourism industry for the low season, in the period from October to June. It has 886,269 trips, of which lot 1, on the peninsular coast, accounts for half with 443,887 seats; This is followed by lot 2, on the island coast, with 230,039, of which 120,000 correspond to the Balearic Islands; while number 3, getaway tourism and European origin, totals 212,343.
The Valencian employers’ association Hosbec alone estimates that 13,000 jobs are at stake in the hotels participating in the program in the Valencian Community, one of the major destinations for these trips. And travel agencies were already warning of closures if hiring was delayed.
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