“It is a remarkable result for a company like ours, which has suffered” due to the impacts of the pandemic.
“2021 was significantly better than 2020, but, compared to 2019, we are still far away”, he said while noting that in 2021, the hotel chain managed to “reopen all hotels” that had been closed in 2020 due to the pandemic.
In the summer of last year, Grupo Pestana saw “resort destinations, such as Porto Santo and the Algarve, recover much faster than city destinations”, which led to the company considering a mobility system among workers. “We carried out the operation practically with our permanent workers. A very significant part of the good results we achieved in the summer [of 2021] was boosted by the fact that the company mobilised", said José Theotónio.
In a balance sheet for 2020, the CEO says that “January and February were still weak months” and that “in March the market started to respond”. April “was the first month” when results were above those of 2019. “We were positively surprised, the growth rate of bookings was much higher than we expected”, he said.
Currently, reservations are being made “last minute”, which ultimately allows the sector to increase prices. “Now people book at the last minute and when they book, especially online, whether on our channels or with operators, this allows us to adjust the price according to demand. And when demand is high, there is an opportunity for the price to rise", explains José Theotónio.
For the future, the “prospects are very positive”. “May will be very good and expectations for the summer are very good”, he continued, stating however, “that there are still shadows in the midst of all this”, referring to the war in Ukraine.
Grupo Pestana has two units currently under construction, in Lisbon, representing a total investment of €10 million, and another two projects that have not yet started, in Madeira.