Algarve tourism taking coronavirus hit

in News · 11-03-2020 17:27:00 · 10 Comments

The Covid-19 outbreak has already led to the cancellation of reservations at 60% of hotels in the Algarve for the next two to three months, the president of the sector's main association said.

“At this point, what we know and can already say is that about 60% of the hotels had direct cancellations for the next two to three months and that 40% of these cancellations asked for refunds of the payments already made”, quantified Elidérico Viegas.

Speaking to Lusa, the president of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA) said that these values ??are being the target of “survey on a permanent basis with hotels” and may compromise the activity for Easter and for the next high season.

In this sense, he defended the need to adopt measures to attract visitors from the national and Spanish markets, to compensate for the losses resulting from these cancellations, namely, the “abolition of tolls” on Via do Infante (A22).

“Abolishing the tolls on Via do Infante is a way to offset the losses resulting from direct cancellations and boost tourism from Spain to here, but also the domestic market itself”, he said, recalling that these markets can reach the region in private and without the risk of contagion on flights or airports, based on cancellations already registered.

According to Elidérico Viegas, “there have not been any cases” of contagion in Algarve hotels, however, he warned that it is necessary for health authorities to provide hotels and enterprises with manuals with the procedures they must adopt in case any case arises within the units of accommodation.

"The only problem we have here is that the official and responsible entities in this area of ??health continue without providing hotels and accommodation with procedures manuals to know how to act in suspected cases of infected people", he criticized.

This information "has not arrived yet and should have arrived already" and "common sense advised" that official entities should provide information and create telephone hotlines for tourists and hotels, to know "what procedures to adopt".

The same source clarified that "hotels, although they are not obliged to return the money, have reimbursed customers", stressing that "the events that were planned for the near future have all been either canceled or transferred to the end of the year", or to after summer.

“More worrying for us, at the moment, is the decrease in reservations for the tourist season, that is, we are in a situation where reservations are falling, not because of hotels, but because of travelers' fear of contagions in air travel and airports, ”he argued.

Elidérico Viegas considered that the outbreak caused by the new coronavirus is having “an evolutionary process that changes at all times”, being necessary to give “more strength” to tourism “both domestic and Spanish”, due ”to the proximity until Easter and the fear that people will not travel ”.


Comments:

If there are no travel restrictions before we are due to travel from Scotland on 22nd March then we will be there. As much chance of catching it at home as anywhere else. Life needs to be lived positively and not in fear.

By Alexander Gilchrist from UK on 13-03-2020 10:36

Due to fly on Thursday 19th March for holiday. Fully intend going unless government advises otherwise. Thomas Cook screwed up last holiday. Surely lightening won't strike twice!!!!

By John from UK on 13-03-2020 02:44

Me& my sisterare coming for a well earned break on sunday, looking forwards to it.

By Val sherlock from UK on 13-03-2020 12:45

Me and my friend are set for a visit on 3rd april and we are so looking foward to this there will be no cancellation on my part i fully intend to enjoy every minute of my holiday .

By Donna from UK on 13-03-2020 12:42

Don’t think we want more visitors from Spain given the amount of infected people they have

By Ann Bate from Algarve on 13-03-2020 12:20

We are scheduled to visit Alvor for a golf trip on the 1st April, we fully intend to come and enjoy our golf trip ????????????????️

By Alan Houston from UK on 12-03-2020 08:06

Great lets attract the Spanish market who have way more cases of the virus than Portugal. Great thinking

By Suzanne Correia from Algarve on 12-03-2020 05:42

Not about giving up, Cliff, but about being responsible and taking appropriate action to protect not only yourself, but others! I hope that you, and other visitors to my home, will consider your travel plans as "flexible" rather than rigid until more specific information is available. I am sure you would like us to do the same in your house!

By Stuart from Algarve on 12-03-2020 01:18

Thanks for keeping us informed. However, your reports need to tell expats who and what to call if they develop symptoms. Yes, there is a hotline but it is in Portuguese. There could be hindreds of expats walking around, spreading this thing like wildfire, and not reporting their symptoms because they
1. Cannot get through to the hotline
2. Cannot understand rapid Portuguese WHEN the hotline is answered.
Please include practical advice in your reports, high up in articles,. That would be responsible reporting would it not?

By Penny Wilson from Algarve on 12-03-2020 09:19

Just to say we have booked our usual 10 day break in the Algarve and we fully intend to take it CV19 or no CV19 - this is a time for optimism not for giving up.

By Cliff from UK on 11-03-2020 06:38
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