According to the president of Algarve Tourism, João Fernandes, while the golf season in the region has got off to a flying start, there is also hope that the positive indicators could continue well into February or March next year, helping to boost the sector that was hit hard due to restrictions that were put into place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"From September to November, we have very high levels of demand", the president of Turismo do Algarve told Lusa news agency, stressing that recovery in this market segment may even "have demand from February or March" of 2022, following a survey of restrictions on travel in the UK due to the pandemic.

The most popular time for golfers to flock to the Algarve courses is usually during the traditional low season for summer holidays. This has not been lost on João Fernandes who said that golf has always had the “unfortunate coincidence that the periods of lockdown coincide with periods of greater usual demand”, however “from September of this year onwards, the sector has begun to attract demand”.

For the head of Algarve tourism this new demand has been driven by “two interesting phenomena”. According to Fernandes, the rise in demand has been influenced by “successive reservations that were postponed and confirmed, the so-called 'rebookings'”, and by a “search for 'last minute' offers, very close to the location of the reservation itself”, this has been further boosted by the return of British and Irish golfers and the recovery of this key market which is represents “73 percent of the golf rounds in the Algarve”.

British and Irish market

“With the IGTM [International Golf Travel Market] taking place in Wales, which is the main industry fair in the golf market, I had the opportunity to collect feedback from the 40 'in loco' Algarve courses, and have had very positive feedback, with courses practically full until the end of November and with demand still being experienced for December”, he said.

According to the president of Turismo do Algarve, "expectations, especially from March, and in some cases until February", point to a "golf market that is recovering strongly" adding to the "very positive behaviour” of the main market for this product in the Algarve, the British and Irish.

Elidérico Viegas told Lusa that the "prospects for golf, given the circumstances, are quite good", resulting in "a recovery after almost more than a year and a half without tourists and practically without activity", however, he does not yet consider that the sector has returned back to a level that was seen before the pandemic.

According to the president of the Association of Hotels and Touristic Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), golf “already presents an interesting recovery, and the expected lifting of restrictions in the countries of origin of tourists will “translate into a gradual increase in searches for this market segment”.