Algarve hotels only hope to resume normality by Easter 2021

in News · 28-04-2020 17:35:00 · 0 Comments

The hotel industry in the Algarve will only be able to return to normal in Easter 2021, due to the effects of the pandemic of covid-19, but there are hotels that are considering reopening as early as June or July, said the president of the main regional hotel association.

The president of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA) spoke to the agency Lusa about the expectations that the sector has for the next high season and considered that, first, it is necessary to raise the state of emergency and know the calendar that the Government is preparing for the gradual resumption of economic activity starting in May.

“There are hotels that are planning to reopen in June, especially in the second half, others in early July. There will be some who are not even opening this year, because our prospects point to us having above all demand from the domestic market”, said Elidérico Viegas.

The foreign market will have a “slower recovery” and its presence in the region will be “more residual” due to the dependence on air transport, which is practically stopped, so AHETA is already “counting on the recovery and the return to normality to "only" start from Easter next year", he estimated, stressing that "everything depends on how the pandemic evolves".

Elidérico Viegas considered that the Algarve has “an important competitive value”, because “it is in the areas of the country least affected, both in terms of infected people and deaths” caused by the pandemic, but, he argued, hotels and enterprises must know which health and safety protocols will have to be adopted to work.

"The new realities imply that we are able to implement good practices in the management of public spaces - beaches, hotels -, which induce confidence in tourists and they feel comfortable travelling to the region", he defended.

Regarding the restrictions on the operation of hotels and tourism enterprises during the initial period after the reopening, the same source said he waited for the guides to good practices to study the way of implementation in each unit.

However, he warned, it is necessary to take safe steps and not take risks, as in the case of countries that suffered the impact of the pandemic, reopening the activity and then going back with a new increase in the number of cases.

"It is everything that cannot happen to us: to fight the pandemic, to be able to diminish, to enter in a descending path and, later, because we stopped complying and having practices to prevent the virus from expanding, we go back to the beginning", he maintained, considering that "it would be worse the amendment that the sonnet”.

The president of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), João Fernandes, assured Lusa that the Algarve is already “preparing this new normality” for when the Government moves forward in the “progressive resumption of activities, in the period of May and June”.

That official confessed that he welcomes the intention expressed by "Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, to be able to travel in Europe this summer" and "to resume air connection capacity".

"We have to be able at that time to guarantee the security that allows those looking for us to have the confidence to visit us," he said, adding that "a set of good practices is being prepared for various areas - from beaches, to accommodation, catering, golf, marinas, maritime-tourist and tourist entertainment companies - to have properly defined health protocols” that allow the activity to resume safely.

Asked if the distance measures to be applied in these areas could jeopardize the recovery in a region like the Algarve, closely linked to the sun and sea, João Fernandes replied that “there has been a lot of talk about beaches”, but he assured that “these will be open and available , obviously with some conditioning ”.

The president of RTA recalled the properties “disinfectants of the sun” and considered that the protocols of action that are adopted will be “feasible, they will not be quantum physics”.

“If I have a five-foot awning and I need a distance of two metres, it is not a problem to create that distance. If beach support and restaurants have to work as a 'take away' window, it is not the end of the world either”, he considered, estimating that all sectors will know “very soon” what measures to adopt.


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