The president of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), Hélder Martins, told Lusa that this upward trend has been confirmed in areas such as meetings and congresses or golf, but acknowledged that it is too early to quantify the increase, because the tourists who arrived today to Faro airport “still didn't know” that the measure has come into force.

“For our part, we see it as very positive and it is one of several measures that will have to appear. It is a sign, first, that the pandemic is losing ground and that we are able to resume our freedoms and, on the other hand, for a tourist destination like the Algarve, it is extremely important that tourists have the fewest possible barriers for entry into the destination”, he said.

The mandatory negative test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter Portugal ended today, with the need now for only the presentation of a Covid-19 digital certificate or recognised proof of vaccination.

According to the new president of AHETA, despite the low season, “the indicators that exist for the coming period are positive”, because “demand has grown”.

He added that he hopes that the lifting of restrictions will continue and “that this will bring the stability that the Algarve needs to continue the recovery of a destination that has been so affected in the last two years” by the restrictive measures applied to travel and entry into the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hélder Martins said that today “an increase in demand is already being noticed” and “a greater interest on the part of tourists and operators”.

“Here at the airport [Faro] you are starting to see many golf bags arriving among tourists - of the 23 flights that arrive today, most are from the United Kingdom - and it is important that it runs normally, because golf is a very important product to combat seasonality”, said Hélder Martins.