EVERY year, many thousands of Spanish pensioners visit the Costa Blanca thanks to the State sponsored IMERSO project…although this year it’s going to cost a little more after the prices have been frozen for the past 14 years.
This week sees the annual project launched across Spain, specifically in Asturias, Catalonia, Galicai, Rioja and the Basque Country. Those living in the Valencian Community will get their chance to register next week and will see around 300,000 retirees holidaying in the area between October and April.
Benidorm, in particular, is a popular choice for the IMERSO pensioners during the off-season and would go some way to explaining the issues raised recently by the 81-year-old British woman, Freda Jackson, who said that “there were too many Spanish people in my hotel”.
Many hotels rely on this influx to keep them going during the winter period, and have managed to negotiate an average increase of €1 per person per day in the payments they receive from IMERSO.
Prices have not increased or been reviewed since 2004, and hoteliers warned the Government earlier this year that they could no longer bear the costs of hosting the pensioners unless action was taken.
Depending on whether the hotel is three or four stars, the daily rate paid to the hotels will now be €22 and €23 respectively (up from €21).
This covers accommodation, full board, entertainment, a medical service and a party on their last night.