The hotel employers have conveyed to the Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto the urgent need to create an inter-ministerial committee with the heads of the various autonomous communities to address the recovery of the sector through the implementation of a shock plan that will enable the revival of Spanish tourism with measures such as expansion and rethinking of the ERTE, the test to travelers or exemption from some taxes such as the IBI.
CEHAT considers the creation of this commission to be fundamental so that all those issues that have been seriously affecting the tourism sector for months and that depend on various ministries such as Health, Foreign Affairs, Finance or Labor, among others, can be properly addressed.
In the document, which has also been sent to the Ministries of Labor and Health, CEHAT has also requested the articulation of a plan to reactivate Spanish tourism with some general issues and a specific treatment by territories. This would make it possible, for example, to address the winter season for those destinations that have it, or to prepare the next season for those areas that will be working from March 2021.
Jorge Marichal, president of CEHAT, emphasizes that, faced with a situation like the one the sector is going through, “we cannot improvise measures. The survival of the Spanish tourism sector is at stake, and this plan must contain financial measures, otherwise it will only remain a dead letter”.
The Spanish tourist accommodation employers consider, therefore, essential that this plan includes the implementation of specific and urgent health, labor and fiscal measures to ensure the survival of tourism, the productive sector that contributes most to the overall Spanish GDP and whose strength depends more than 2.5 million workers directly.
Within the labor field, CEHAT insists on the articulation of specific ERTE for the hotel sector. Thus, the Confederation is asking for flexible TRSs that allow workers to enter and leave, depending on the tourism situation, and that have a total exemption from Social Security for those who stay in the TRS, not those who leave, since, if a businessman takes a worker out of the TRS, it is considered that he is doing it because he is generating resources to pay his salary. Therefore, the aid should be offered to those workers who remain within the ERTE and leave it to the responsibility of the employer to assume the cost of the workers who return to their activity. In addition, these new ERTE’s must be active until at least Easter 2021 in order to ensure that the companies have ‘oxygen’ to reach that date and, with it, the jobs they generate.
In terms of health, CEHAT considers essential the establishment of measures such as digital health passport and / or similar solutions that allow the traceability of the customer during their stay at destination and identify risks and vulnerabilities during their stay, facilitating their location and isolation if necessary.
Likewise, the Confederation is committed to carrying out tests and trials on tourists arriving in Spain. “If the European Union does not obligatorily take care of the tests on departure, we must be the ones to establish them on arrival”, says Marichal, “therefore, what we propose is that if a tourist arriving in Spain cannot guarantee that he is free of COVID-19 (PCR with a maximum of 48 hours before the trip), he must be given a quick test on arrival at the first Spanish airport he visits. This test must be paid by the client. At the end of their stay at destination and before returning to their country, a new test must be done to guarantee that they are free of COVID-19. This new test can be paid by the hoteliers and the client, jointly”.
Finally, in fiscal matters, CEHAT requests that the exoneration of some taxes that burden the activity be articulated both at a local and regional level, for this fiscal year 2020, as is the case of the IBI (Tax on Real Estate), the municipal taxes, the Tax on Economic Activities, etc., that, due to their characteristics, represent a high cost for the hotel companies in a context of practically zero income for tourist activity.