Government of Spain expands target group Imserso senior travel

by Lorraine Williamson

After years of trying, seniorsassociations have succeeded: The well-known Imserso senior trips will soon also be available for Spanish elderly who do not live in Spain (anymore). 

Minister Ione Belarra of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 made this announcement on Monday. The Imserso package holidays have been subsidised by the Spanish government for many years and are intended for widows over 55 years of age and for (retired) seniors over 65 years of age. 

Senior trips can be booked for all Spaniards 

In the past, various seniors’ associations urged the Spanish government to do this, but it was never followed up before. Until recently, participants of the program had to meet the aforementioned age limit and contribute to social security in Spain. This was only possible if you were living in Spain. As of today, that is no longer the case. 

The choice to expand the target group for the Imserso senior trips was made because this makes an important contribution to healthier aging. “All citizens should have access to this primary goal, regardless of where they live,” said Minister Belarra. 

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Imserso campaign fully launched after pandemic 

In June, the information campaign of the Imserso senior trips started again. This was after more than two years of hardly any activity due to the corona pandemic. Last year, after the pandemic, trips were also planned, but not with the volumes as before the corona era. Last June, about 4 million seniors received a letter or invitation with the offer for the coming season. 

Although the program has fully started again, fewer places will be available in 2023. For package holidays next year, 813,000 places have been reserved. That is about 3,000 less than this year. However, the duration of the average trip will be a bit longer. In 2022 the average stay was 7.5 days, next year it will be slightly longer than 8 days. 

Criticism of low prices after inflation 

The prices for the Imserso package holidays are between €115 and €405 per person, depending on the region where you go. The hotel sector has criticised the fact that the prices for Imserso trips have not increased while Spain is dealing with high inflation and the costs for hotels have increased. Despite this fact, 300 hotels will again participate in the program next season. 

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