Holidaymakers in Spain could soon find themselves sharing their luxury hotels with illegal African migrants after several hoteliers were offered cash by pro-migration charities to accommodate new arrivals flown to the Spanish mainland from the saturated Canary Islands.
Under government plans, thousands of migrants are being transported from the Spanish archipelago to the Valencian Community to help alleviate the crisis enveloping the islands.
Over 32,000 illegal crossings from Western Africa have now been detected on the Canaries so far this year, surpassing the record annual total of 31,678 set back in 2006.
HOSBEC, the hotel and tourism association located in vacation hotspot Benidorm, told Spanish media that several hotels had been approached by human rights organizations “offering them proposals for renting accommodation for refugees during the coming weeks.”
According to reports, hoteliers have been offered €40 a night for each migrant they provide accommodation for.
Crisis in the Canaries: Spanish islands break annual record for migrant arrivals with two months to spare
The islands’ president slammed Madrid and Brussels for their inadequate response to the “humanitarian emergency” facing the Spanish archipelago
The hotel association criticized the left-wing Spanish government for its decision to transport migrants to the area without any clear plan or consultation.
“Hosbec regrets that never before in any of the crises we have faced have we felt so isolated and uninformed by the central government,” read a statement from the group as cited by Spanish digital newspaper ESdiario.
“It has been impossible for us to take any action for the correct coordination of these receptions and thus guarantee normal coexistence in the affected tourist destinations, despite having tried to contact the NGOs to which the management of accommodation and stays has been delegated,” it added.
The association claimed that communication between the federal government and the local administrations had been “non-existent.”
Spanish media reported that hotels in Benidorm had refused the proposals for accommodating migrants but claimed HOSBEC said it had been made aware of other holiday destinations in the Valencian Community where hoteliers had agreed to receive new arrivals, some of which had already opened their doors.
It is understood that newcomers have already been put up in Valencia, Alicante, Castellón, and Gandia.
The government in Madrid recently announced its intention to convert military barracks on the Spanish mainland into emergency migrant accommodation, but this is understood to house just 3,000 people, fewer than 10 percent of this year’s new arrivals to the Canary Islands alone.
Spain is also in discussions with the Senegalese government, from where a majority of migrants arriving on the islands originate, about the measures it should take to deter migrants from making the journey to Europe.