The president of the Corporate Association of Specialized Travel Agencies (Acave), Martí Sarrate, has expressed to AGENTTRAVEL the will of the agencies to lengthen the summer season to mitigate the effects of the fifth wave, which is hindering the reactivation of the activity in the second half of the year.
“We believe that if we are capable among all of us of lengthening the season, we can reach a target of 25 or 30% on the 2019 turnover and be able to resist to start a more effective recovery for 2022,” says Sarrate. To achieve this, the association is immersed in talks with “various tourism organizations”, with the aim of “carrying out actions” to extend the season.
According to the president of Acave, the expectations for the second half of the year were to achieve sales of 35% or 40% with respect to the numbers prior to the pandemic, but the fifth wave of contagions “is very damaging” to the agencies, both nationally and internationally.
Also his counterpart in the Spanish Confederation of Travel Agencies (CEAV), Carlos Garrido, notes that “the start of outbound tourism and international travel is being much slower than expected.” “These trips account for more than 75% of our sales and therefore until they start up, we will not be able to recover the profitability of our business,” he laments.
Thus the things, Garrido recognizes that the agencies “can not assume the labor costs at this time” and claims that the ERTE “at least until the end of the year and materialize the promised aid that have not reached any SME sector most affected.”
In this regard, the Federation of Associations of Travel Agencies Andalusian (FAAV) issued a statement last week in which he argued that still receive no help from the Junta de Andalucía. “Those convened in April for a linear amount of 3,000 euros have not yet arrived and the Ministry of Tourism does not clarify when the complementary ones that would allow agencies to obtain a maximum of 12,000 euros depending on the number of workers on staff will be published,” they lamented.
Sarrate affirms that most of the communities have already published in their official gazettes the conditions to access the aids and estimates that 16,000 applications have been validated, for example, in Catalonia, plus another 20,000 “that will be solved by the end of August”.
With regard to Andalusia, the president of Acave shows his disbelief that the Board “has not been pronounced on direct aid after more than three months since the Government announced them”. Like FAAV, Acave has requested that this situation, which it calls “intolerable”, be speeded up.
Outbreaks complicate international operations
Most travelers have opted for national tourism this summer, and 85% have opted for the car as a means of transport. Also stand out, according to Sarrate, the family plans related to beach tourism and nature, as well as cruises in the Mediterranean.
Internationally, the president of Acave refers to destinations such as the Maldives, the Mexican Caribbean, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Kenya or Tanzania, but he considers that the operation in these countries is “complicated” due to the limitations of the countries and the lack of confidence and security of the clients.