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Some €700bn set aside to lift tourism industry

CREDIT schemes of up to €700bn have been approved to help soften the blow to Spain’s tourism industry, following the Thomas Cook collapse in September.

The Spanish Government is offering up to €200bn finance, through the Official Credit Institute (ICO) to attend to immediate economic emergencies in the sector, such as hotels which have not yet been paid for travellers’ trips.

A further €500bn has been set aside for companies in the industry to borrow from, to expand, adapt and improve their businesses to make the holiday sector in Spain more competitive, attractive and better equipped.

This includes taking on more staff, modernisation, new ideas and lines of trade, as well as a “going digital”.

The latter €500bn will be available through the State Finance Fund for Competitiveness in Tourism (FOCIT), administered by the ICO, and linked to the Secretary of State for Tourism.

Among the steps included with this release of funds for the industry are direct financial benefits of €15bn and €8bn, respectively, for the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, which have been the hardest hit by the Thomas Cook collapse. That’s because these islands are among Spain’s most popular package-holiday destinations for UK tourists.

“We’re focusing on everyone affected, and very much so, on the workers who lost their jobs after the chain went down,” said Carmen Calvo, Spain’s Acting Deputy President.

Ever since the Government found out that Thomas Cook was about to go out of business, and that the UK authorities did not intend to bail it out, ministers have been analysing “justice measures”, said Sra Calvo, and she has not ruled out launching legal action on behalf of those in Spain who have suffered the most damage.

The Spanish Commission of Business Organisations (CEOE) has been brought on board as part of a “combined response to the legitimate defence of interests” of traders and workers. And the Ministries of Justice and of Tourism are working on setting up information and advice for companies owed money.

Some of the industry’s extra support and finance is aimed at making it more sustainable as an economy and a job market, focusing heavily on removing the seasonal aspect of it, which is responsible for employment being largely temporary or, if permanent, with long lay-off periods, on the islands and coasts.

But, said Sra Calvo: “It is hoped this will be achieved by diversification and digitalisation.”

 

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=50434

Posted by on Oct 17 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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