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View of the beautiful Levante beach from the "Mirador"
Did you know that as a resident Spanish pensioner in Spain you are eligible for cheap holidays throughout the country. The Spanish government heavily subsidises over one million pensioners to go on holiday every year. The programme is called IMERSO (Institute for Senior Social Services) .... Can you imagine the UK government doing that - they barely pay enough pension to cover the basics! 
It is a scheme which is available to ALL nationalities, not just the Spanish so long as you fulfil certain criterior;
- Over 65
- Or widow over 55 receiving widows pension
- Or over 60 but on an early retirement pension or invalidity pension

The holidays are restricted to be taken between October and June with the purpose of helping the domestic tourism industry during the quieter low season. You may have seen coach loads of pensioners being dropped of around Benidorm and wondering about during these months - these are probably on the IMERSO scheme. Benidorm is a very popular destination, especially for those pensioners living in Madrid and other inner cities around Spain.

Quiet Tapas Alley - could this be what happens ?
But as everywhere with cuts being made to budgets, the Government has announced a reduction in the funding from 103 to 75 million euros for 2012/13. Benidorm City Council, together with HOSBEC - the hoteliers association, attended a meeting in Madrid to demand a retention of quotas. They  have estimated a potential 7.5 million euro loss of income to the town if these budget cuts go ahead and so  in turn having a negative effect on tourism. Juan Angel Ferrer, Councillor of Tourism  in Benidorm estimated that the cut would reduce the number of overnight stays in the town by 375,000 which would subsequently have a knock on effect to the many tourist related businesses.

The President of Hosbec, Antonio Mayor met with the deputy director of  IMERSCO last Tuesday to relay the concern of hoteliers of potential loss of business and asked the deputy to "join forces" to maintain the volume of trading for the next season.  Ferrer meanwhile stated that the cut to IMERSCO  places is "uneconomic" as the holiday programme generates a return of 1.50€ for every 1€ spent. The budget reduction could lead to a loss of between 25,000 - 100,000 jobs and has been branded  "anti social, anti tax and anti tourist" which in the long run will be detrimental to the domestic tourist market.

Deserted beach with empty sunbeds
The Imersco holidays range from 5 days up to 29 days and include full board transport, medical assistance and insurance. You are also eligible to take a partner/companion even if they DO NOT fit the criterior ie they are under 55/60. There are many different destinations available from Mainland Spain to the Balearics, Canary Islands and Portugal and are usually in 3 and 4 star hotels. An Imersco holiday  is cheaper than staying at home which is why they are so popular. Applications for 2012/13 are being accepted from the end of May. If you would like to participate you will need to fill in a form (go to the Social Services department at your local Town Hall) and the following information required; NIE number, type of pension and income you are receiving and preferred destination. You will receive a letter to tell you if you are eligible and if so be given your "key number". With this you can go to a participating travel agent and book your subsidised holiday.

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Latest Comments

  • The show must go on

    Sarah Herrington 13.08.2020 17:08
    Im booked to come out in 5 weeks snd hope its cancelled, if not then i will have to move it. I ...
  • The show must go on

    Liz Falconer 13.08.2020 17:07
    We r hoping to get our holiday in benidorm in Oct hopefully the quarentine is lifted by then
  • The show must go on

    Liz Mullan 13.08.2020 17:06
    I had two holidays to benidorm cancelled so it was made impossible for us to go but I've booked ...


Remember to always have a mask with you when going out.

ALSA Airport bus - Operating a reduced service to the resort

Benidorm Palace - Open Saturday night only


Cigarette Prices

  (per carton)

B&H 50.00€
Camel 47.00€
Embassy 50.00€
JPS 44.50€
L&B 48.50€
Marlboro 50.00€
Mayfair 45.00€
Silk Cut 50.00€

Tobacco 50gm x10

Golden Virginia 89.50€
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