Ashotel appears before parliament to talk about tourism, a covid patient itself which is in intensive care

Photo: Ashotel

Updated 31 August: When Ashotel organized the politicians’ tour of south Tenerife, its President Jorge Marichal also asked the Government for the opportunity to adress it formally to explain the association’s concerns. That request was granted and so Marichal has today appeared in Parliament to ask for covid19 tests in passengers’ country of origin as well as in their destination, secure air corridors, support for tourism businesses and their workers, and flexible ERTEs (temporary redundancies) until the end of the year. These last are in place until the end of September but President Torres has already said he thinks it’s inevitable they’ll be extended.

Ashotel’s requests are grounded in the association’s desperation to save the industry: there is no plan B, Marichal says, and these islands need tourism simply to have a future. He stressed that the appearance in Parliament wasn’t any kind of attempt to put blame on the authorities but to add to their efforts and suggest measures that could be taken to move forward in a situation that, he said, was becoming more complicated day by day.

Currently, Marichal indicated, only around 25% of hotel plant is open in the province of Tenerife, and he explained that if Germany, for example, were to decide to add the Canaries to their own no-fly list, as the UK has done, we will see zero tourists again in coming days. He urged the Government to come up with proposals to recover a route towards a resumption of tourist activity. “Our situation is very clear”, he said. “We have a covid patient, tourism, who is in intensive care, sedated with the ERTE, having been given shock treatment, but it cannot continue to be sedated, it has to get ahead”.

Desperate times.

Original post 25 August: The hoteliers’ association for the Canaries’ west province, Ashotel, has organized a tour for politicians this Thursday of several hotels and major tourist areas in Arona and Adeje. The aim, says Ashotel, is to show them “in situthe serious situation facing the tourism sector in the archipelago.

All representatives in Congress and the Senate of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife have been invited, and will start by seeing two hotels, one closed (Parque del Sol in Costa Adeje) and one open (RIU Palace Tenerife). Their guides will explain the specific reasons that have led the first hotel to remain closed since March, as well as the anti COVID-19 security measures that the second hotel has implemented to deal with the pandemic. Ashotel has also planned a short walk along the so-called Golden Mile in Playa de las Américas where there is a very high dependence on tourist consumption but where much has been closed since mid-March.

The tour will end at the hotel GF Victoria, Costa Adeje, where president of Ashotel Jorge Marichal will address the politicians to detail the key measures that hotel employers are demanding in order to try to save tourism, the main engine of the Canarian economy, from collapse this year, and so avoid the very serious damage this would generate in the Canaries.

Ashotel has put forward several proposals but says that the most urgent and vital for the survival of the sector are the introduction of flexible ERTE’s designed ‘ad hoc’ for the tourism sector, given that the crisis continues as a result of the no-fly or quarantine requirements in countries which constitute the main tourism markets for the islands. Ashotel says that health tests (PCR) urgently need to be carried out on tourists to break this dynamic and generate confidence and security. Of course this is something for which Canarian politicians have been arguing anyway but seemingly cannot introduce as a regional measure.   

The tour will focus minds anyway, and on Thursday we should have more information about how it was received, and what if any changes we can expect. The Canaries must have some sort of winter season, that is obvious, and it is difficult to see what more the hotel sector can do than comply with the measures that have been legislated and which it has implemented. It’s sadly also difficult to see, however, what more the politicians can do given the resurgent figures and their clear need, and concern, to protect the health system from being overwhelmed if they start to relax measures. And of course, they have a very wary eye indeed on schools which are due to reopen in the relatively near future.

6 Comments

  1. As you said Janet there are too many people in every country that are not taking the crisis seriously
    The following is an update from one of our friends who is a hotel Director whose hotel has become insolvent and looks likely to close forever!
    It would seem tourism will not return to anything like normality before 2022?
    “””Workers’ contracts have been suspended during the pandemic and the salaries of affected people ( not working ) were reduced by the Government due to force majeure.
    These salaries vary between a minimum and a maximum depending on whether the worker has dependent children.
    The maximum that can be charged in this case is about € 1,200 (it does not matter if the worker’s salary before the pandemic was higher than that amount).
    The new law says that if a worker is sacked during the next 6 months from the lifting of the pandemic restrictions (in Spain now until 31/05/21),
    then all bonuses received since April 2020 will have to be returned to the Government by the companies.
    This will be unaffordable for many hotels because on June 1 we will not need 100% of our workers because of the low occupancies expected.
    We have to wait until then to see what happens.
    Chinese and American vulture funds are already buying hotels in the Canary Islands!
    Everything is being very stressful ☹☹”””
    Arrivals to the UK from 22 countries will now have to quarantine in hotels for up to 14 days and cover the cost of about £1500 per person per week themselves

  2. Thankyou Janet
    Mencey – I did not express a opinion or criticism but passed on comments from two born in Tenerife hotel Directors who are receiving no financial support for maintaining their hotel from your Governments to the extent that one is insolvent
    One spends a lot of time in tears fearing for the future of their staff when the hotel goes bust soon
    Since as Directors and residents they are well informed
    , more so than I or residents,of the lack of financial support they are receiving from Government
    I had hoped by posting this information their situation would receive support from those on this site with perhaps words in ears of those who are in a position to help
    So I am sorry my post was not taken in the way hoped for

    1. Author

      They will receive support now, and their staff have been receiving support for a considerable time and, it is recently announced, will continue to do so until at least halfway through this year. There is nothing anyone here can do beyond the hoteliers’ own associations – Ashotel in the western province – and I know Jorge Marichel is doing everything in his and his association’s power to assist, incuding talking directly to Government.

      Yes the hotel industry is in crisis. So is the tourism industry generally. So are health systems everywhere. A solution to this is not easy to conceive but the best help we can give is to abide fully by the rules, stop moving around, and for the authorities to police it adequately. Meanwhile, there is official support for businesses, but obviously independent enterprises are going to be at greater risk than bigger ones. As Theresa May once said, there’s no magic money tree, and as Rishi Sunak said more recently, Governments cannot save everyone. Sadly, neither can the health services. This is a disaster, and for my part, I wish more people would take it far more seriously.

  3. On a slightly different tack
    There has been much said about tourism on the island
    We are in regular communication with 2 long time friends who are Director’s of hotels.
    One will survive as it is part of a group but the other is a stand alone hotel which is now insolvent as the monthly costs to maintain it, even without guests is in six figures
    They receive nothing from the Government for these basic maintenance and running costs
    Does the Government not understand that if hotels close their long term income when tourism returns will be reduced??
    We know little of the political situation on the island and mainland but our 2 friends have little positive to say about their regard for tourism?
    We guess closure of other businesses are happening?
    The future prospect for tourism on an island where the development of infrastructure and services for residents in the future looks bleak and as future residents saddens us

    1. Author

      I’ve moved your comment to a post where it’s relevant. The authorities do understand, as the post above will indicate, because the tourism sector, and specifically the hotel association, is talking to them (and at them) about it quite strongly.

    2. Author

      Quite honestly, this does smack of a peculiarly British type of arrogance in suggesting that the government of the Canaries has no idea what it is doing. This, coupled with a criticism which is easy to make in a situation where there is no easy solution, and I notice the author does not offer one himself. Nothing would be gained by opening hotels, so what exactly is the point of the criticism? There are schemes to support the employees of these businesses, and even the UK says they can’t save every business. To expect the Canaries to do that is rather unrealistic.

      Perhaps keeping informed about what is happening might be more constructive than complaining about an obvious problem. Only today the president of the Canaries announced “un plan extraordinario de apoyo a los sectores más afectados por la covid19 de más de 400 millones de euros que incluye aplazamiento de deudas fiscales y del pago de IGIC, y ayudas directas a esos sectores” …

      … and this is in addition to any support via schemes for employee support like ERTE, eviction bans, emergency payments …

      As Torres said in Parliament today:

      “Solo con el control del covid19 y poder hacer vida normal, recuperaremos la economía. Mientras tanto, menos mal que existe lo público”.

      By “lo público” he means the public sector which is putting in the very resources and support which the author claims are lacking.

Leave a Reply to David Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.