Tuesday 16th February 2021 | MIKE SMITH
The Alicante Provincial Council will launch, through the Costa Blanca Tourist Board and together with the sector’s associations, a global plan to support the province’s hospitality and leisure industry. This alliance, as defined by the president of the provincial council, Carlos Mazón, will have an initial investment of 300,000 euros that will allow, among other actions, to assess the economic impact of the pandemic on these businesses, advise affected professionals, and drive a promotional campaign that reactivates demand in one of the segments most affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Mazón, accompanied by the director of the Board of Trustees, José Mancebo, met on Monday with a dozen associations of the sector to evaluate the measures of this proposal, which will be developed in the coming months and which will lead, together with Costa Blanca, the Alicante Restaurants Association (ARA) with the collaboration of the Association of Restaurants and Leisure Venues of Alicante (ALROA), the Business Federation of Hospitality of the Province of Alicante (FEHPA) and the rest of the entities that form this sector.
Mazon explained that “the Diputación de Alicante has established a special alliance for hospitality and leisure to establish a strategy that allows us not only to meet the most urgent needs and demands in the first instance, but also to launch initiatives of advice, study, support and promotion that contributes to reactivate this sector so essential to our economy as soon as possible”. And he once again insisted on the need for this type of initiatives to be accompanied by a fiscal cut by the central government to match what the provincial council has done with the provincial IAE surcharge being reduced by more than 50%.
For his part, the president of ARA, César Anca, expressed his thanks for the support and highlighted “the union of all the associations and the Provincial Tourist Board to carry out a pioneering project that will help us to recover activity and positioning“.
The plan designed by Costa Blanca and the associations includes as a priority to carry out a study to determine the economic weight of the hotel and leisure industry in the province – the number of establishments and employees, turnover, origin of customers, etc. – and the impact that COVID-19 has had on the sector. This analysis of the real situation will make it possible to define revitalization strategies and set the “road map” to follow. For this, working groups will be set up with the participation of the different associations.
Likewise, a promotional campaign has been planned “to restore society’s confidence and reactivate demand in leisure and restaurant establishments.“
Finally, in this first phase, the creation of a support platform for the hospitality business people is also proposed, through which their requests for information, requests for aid or various procedures will be met and digitization and training plans will be offered.
During the meeting, held online, the president also conveyed to the associations the intention of the Provincial Council to increase the aid to self-employed, SMEs, micro-SMEs and professionals from 6 to 9 million euros , an investment package that will be approved this month in an extraordinary plenary session and that will allow the aid to be allocated to the payment of the self-employed fee, insurance or energy rates. Along with this call for aid, it is also expected that the contribution of 14.7 million euros that the council will fund a collaboration plan promoted by provincial councils, city councils and the Generalitat Valenciana for the hospitality, leisure and other sectors will be approved in that plenary session affected by COVID-19.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the three aforementioned associations, in addition to the Torrevieja Hospitality Entrepreneurs Association, Alicante Interior Tourism, the Marina Alta Costa Blanca Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurs Association (AEHTMA), the Hospitality Association of Ibi, the Costa Blanca Beach Business Association, the Elche Hospitality Association and the Benidorm Bars, Restaurants and Cafeterias Association (ABRECA)
Press Release – Diputación de Alicante