There was a reduced programme for last winter because of Covid. | Archive

The fiasco surrounding the 2022/2023 Imserso programme of holidays for Spain's senior citizens sees the Mundiplan consortium, with rights to sell Imserso in Mallorca and the Balearics, without sufficient participating hotels to meet demand.

For this programme, 120,000 hotel places were assigned to the Balearics - 75,000 for Mallorca (mostly Playa de Palma or Palmanova/Magalluf), 25,000 for Ibiza and 20,000 for Minorca. Mundiplan isn't saying what the current situation is, as the consortium has been negotiating up to the last minute with the hoteliers in the Balearics. The regional tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, said in parliament on Tuesday that he was "certain that practically all the Imserso places in the Balearics will be covered, so there will be Imserso tourism of the same numbers as in recent years".

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However, it is understood that for all destinations it is selling, Mundiplan has entered into agreements with 132 hotels, 83 fewer than before the pandemic.

This potential shortfall has been on the cards for weeks. Hotels are not prepared to operate with payments set by the Spanish social rights ministry that do not take account of their increased costs. Many hotels argue that Imserso simply isn't profitable or can represent a loss.

Also on Tuesday, the executive vice-president of the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation, María José Aguiló, said that Imserso "needs an update of prices in order to be viable". She explained that ever since the programme was created, hotels have been willing to participate because Imserso enables employment and a lengthening of the season, while it also has a social function. However, the whole programme needs "reformulation, an updating in both pricing and concept in order to make it viable and attractive". "There will be fewer hotel companies in the Balearics due to low payments and the increase in costs."