ETourism may be the golden goose of the Algarve; however, this year many people have avoided coming to their favourite destination. As a result, the local economy has also been affected by the lack of tourism, which has led João Fernandes, Algarve Tourism President (Algarve Tourism), to take serious measures to face the impacts of Covid-19 on the main pillar of the Algarve economy.
Tourism has been forced to reinvent itself in order to face the current situation of fear caused by Covid-19, proving that this country is a safe destination. After all, the Algarve continues to be a symbol of rest, happiness and good times.
Despite the restrictions on freedom of movement implemented throughout Europe, “you never feel as much freedom as you do in the Algarve”, said João Fernandes, the Algarve Tourism President, in an interview with The Portugal News.
João Fernandes said that the Algarve is one of the safest destinations in the world. “We werethe first region in the world to have a manual of good practices”, he said. In addition, according to the president, “the Algarve has less than half the European average of new cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days, which is the reference indicator” that makes the Algarve a destination of safety when compared to the rest of Europe.
The new ambassadors of the Algarve
One of the reinventions carried out by João Fernandes was the creation of new Algarve ambassadors. They are foreigners that reside in the Algarve for a long time and might help to show that the Algarve is in fact a safe place to live, work or to stay for holidays.
These foreign residents working as ambassadors are important because they have direct contacts in their countries, including family and friends. “With a message of proximity they are able to say that the Algarve has been preventing and controlling the pandemic. “These are the people who know theAlgarve and know the people who visit us from other foreign markets and their message is obviously a message with a greater degree of trust”, explained João Fernandes.
Additionally, in a time of uncertainty and in which laws are passed every week, the RTA is working on providing information in order to clarify some questions about security that must be taken into account in the territory. According to the president, the RTA is also working closely with Safe Communities Portugal to help in the interpretation of the law and in their correct translation into English. So that people always feel informed about what is going on in Portugal.
Why not work in the Algarve?
This is the new campaign launched by the Algarve Tourism and it can be a solution for those who are fed up of staying at home all day for remote working. Choosing the Algarve to work has a lot of advantages, for instance, for citizens who work in United Kingdom, “the timezone is the same in London and in Faro, so they can work at the same hours, which is not the case in any other European country. So if they have to get up at 7am in the morning, here they also get up at 7am and will do the same job and then play golf or go hiking, diving, sailing or horseback riding”, Fernandes said to The Portugal News.
There is the possibility to enjoy a better quality of life, quality of work and leisure. Remote working allows people to live in a place with better weather and to be able to combine work with leisure, while maintaining a highly productive professional life.
Algarve: a sustainable destination
Although there is no destination in the world that can say that it is 100 percent sustainable, according to João Fernandes, there are some countries in which an increased effort is being made in this direction, such as the south of Portugal. “The Algarve region has more and more wind farms, solar energy, and practicing the reuse of treated water in garden spaces, golf courses, etc. It is also the region of the country that has the highest rates of selective collection of residues, has the largest number of blue flag beaches, which means that it has good quality of its water, hotels, rent a car, restaurants and the like have made an effort to move towards sustainable development”, said João Fernandes.
Besides, “sustainability isn’t only environmental, but also social, in the sense of reducing seasonality, which allows us to have more stable and well-paid jobs, all of this is also sustainability. When we reinforce culture we are also talking about sustainability from a cultural and social point of view. The Algarve is very open to change, luckily we have this experience of receiving a lot of people from outside, and we realise the advantage of change and not the problem of it. All of this is sustainability”, he explained.
In any case, even with huge drops in the tourism sector, the Algarve “Compared to other destinations, was one of the destinations that had the best performance. Transavia stated that the best performance it had this summer was the Algarve and Luftansa pointed out the Algarve and Greece”, concluded Algarve Tourism President.