Tourism continues to recover from the impact caused by the pandemic and, for Easter, expectations are positive, from hotels to local accommodation.

According to a report by ECO, the sector believes that Easter can be “the kick-off” for the recovery of tourism, at a time when the numbers are already very close to the results of 2019.

Price increases

Travel agencies are already feeling the positive pace of demand, but the sector is also feeling the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and, for this very reason, the hotel industry admits price increases of 10% to compensate for the increase in energy costs.

In April, the number of tickets issued for flights to Portugal soared by 500% compared to April 2021, said Luís Araújo, president of Turismo de Portugal. However, it is important to note that this number does not include low-cost airlines or tickets booked directly with the airlines. Even so, the official is confident for Easter, noting that, “in terms of air connectivity”, the country is “very close to the numbers of 2019”, the year in which records were broken in the tourism sector, with 27 million tourists.

The hotel industry had “good” expectations for Easter and, at this time, they remain. “We hope that Easter can be the kick-off for the recovery”, says Cristina Siza Vieira, CEO of the Associação da Hotelaria de Portugal (AHP), pointing out that “there was already a very high demand”.

After a “very bad” January and February, the official says that the sector “was on hold until Easter” and that, at the moment, she believes that “there will be a lot more hotels open”, although about 20% should continue with closed doors. The Vila Galé Group, for example, will have all 27 hotels in the country operating, administrator Gonçalo Rebelo de Almeida told ECO.

National and international demand

The person responsible for the second largest hotel chain in the country says that expectations for Easter are “positive”, “with reservations from national and foreign customers”, which predicts occupancy rates above 80%. On the AHP side, projections point to a weight of 60% of international tourists, although the demand for Portuguese for the hotel sector is also considerable.

Positive expectations spread to local accommodation. “We finally managed to have some expectation of recovery”, tells ECO Eduardo Miranda, president of the Local Accommodation Association of Portugal (ALEP). “March was already more optimistic and Easter is precisely what marks the expectations of the beginning of the recovery”, adds the official, noting that Easter “is an important milestone” for the sector.