The extraordinary Council of Ministers held today has approved three new measures to support the Spanish tourism sector, included in the Royal Decree-Law of urgent measures to support economic recovery and employment. It is a mortgage moratorium for buildings subject to tourism activity, a line of aid for tourism digitization, the instrument called "Tourism Sustainability Plans in Destinations", and exemptions from quotas for discontinuous permanent workers.

The measures are integrated into the ‘Plan to Promote the Tourism Sector’ recently presented by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez. For the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, “they reaffirm the Executive's commitment to supporting the tourism sector, both during the health crisis and in de-escalation and now in recovery; they are concrete and effective measures to continue protecting companies and workers and continue relaunching the activity. ”

Mortgage moratorium for properties affected by tourist activity

The Council of Ministers has approved a mortgage moratorium for properties subject to tourist activity, through the granting of a moratorium period of up to twelve months for mortgage financial operations signed with credit institutions. During the moratorium, only interest on the mortgage debt would be paid, and the principal would not be amortized. Likewise, the amortization period would be extended up to twelve more months, or the deferred amount would be redistributed among the remaining installments without modifying the agreed maturity date.

Self-employed workers and legal entities with registered offices in Spain may be beneficiaries, provided they experience financial difficulties as a result of the health emergency. Loans that have been in full or partial default of any of their installments since before January 1, 2020 are excluded.

Likewise, it is established that, if the property affects the development of an economic activity of the tourist sector were the subject of a lease, the beneficiary of the mortgage moratorium must grant the lessee a moratorium on the payment of the lease of at least 70% of the amount of the mortgage moratorium, provided that said postponement or the total or partial cancellation of it has not already been achieved by agreement between both parties.

€ 216 M for digitization and innovation projects

The Council of Ministers has approved a project financing system for digitization and innovation in the tourism sector. The budget for the program will be € 216M for the year 2020. The granting of a maximum of 1,100 loans is foreseen for each budget year, based on an average loan of € 200,000.

The costs of personnel, costs of instruments and inventory material, costs of contractual research, technical knowledge and patents acquired or obtained by license from external sources under arm's length conditions and supplementary general expenses will be financed.

Tourism Sustainability Plans in Destinations

The Council of Ministers has approved the creation of the instrument called "Tourism Sustainability Plans in Destinations" to provide support for investment in actions to promote, adapt and improve tourist destinations in order to increase their sustainability. It is about promoting the development of tourist destinations located in rural and inland areas, by taking advantage of resources through tourist facilities, developing attractive products, promoting them and supporting the operational capacity of the entities that manage them. Destinations.

Annually, the Tourism Sector Conference will approve the proposals of tourism sustainability plans presented by the Local Entities, which best meet the selection criteria established in the Program, and which will contain the designation of the destinations subject to action. In the first year, the allocation of a € 23M item is proposed.

Exemption from discontinuous fixed fees

The Fourth Additional Provision of the Royal Decree-Law approved today in the Council of Ministers includes a measure of the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy by which companies dedicated to tourism, commerce and hospitality (which are not public) that between July and October (both inclusive) generate activity in these sectors, they will have exonerations of 50% of the Social Security contributions of discontinuous permanent workers who incorporate or maintain their occupation.

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