Nuria Rodríguez and travel agency staff / SUR

More than 200 travel agencies in Andalucía receive 11.5 million euros in Covid aid

The Omicron coronavirus variant has caused havoc for the struggling sector despite hopes that 2022 will mark a huge improvement on 2021

Pilar Martínez

Some 219 travel agencies Andalucía in have received aid worth 11.5 million euros to keep them afloat, Nuria Rodríguez, the Malaga province delegate for the Junta de Andalucía’s Ministry for Tourism, has revealed.

The funds come from the EU Resilience Fund, of which at total of 1.1 billion is allocated for use in Andalucía. So far 1,690 business have received 75.5 million euros in support. Some 11.5 million euros of that went to travel agencies.

Speaking during a visit to the Viajes Marimartur travel agency, Rodríguez said, “The grants range from 3,000 euros up to 200,000 euros. With them, the beneficiaries will be able to pay their debts and make payments to suppliers and other creditors in addition to fixed costs already paid and losses generated from 1 March 2020 to 30 September 2021. Some of the owners of these agencies have assigned this aid to the payment of the credits they received at the outbreak of the pandemic.”

María del Mar López, the manager of Viajes Marimartur agency, said the aid was vital.

“If it weren't for this help, probably half of the agencies would be closed or we wouldn't be able to survive and we would be in pretty bad shape." The president of the Association of Travel Agencies of the Costa del Sol, Sergio García, added, “There has been some interesting aid where the amount depends on the number of staff and the activity of each agency, but has provided respite.”

"This sector plays a fundamental role in generating wealth and employment in our community. It is largely this sector that we owe for the economic recovery that is being experienced,” Rodríguez said.

“Despite the good results and that we have recorded a reactivation at the end of the year, it is necessary that the administration continues to support the professionals that have been particularly affected by the coronavirus crisis,” she added.