The three Orbitur parks in the region have been in operation since 20 May, but the 15 belonging to the Association of Camping Sites in the Alentejo and Algarve (APCAA) only open doors on Monday, 25 May.
“We have been contacted by many customers who want to understand what measures are being taken and, after the explanation, are confident and make the reservation effective,” revealed the manager of the camping site Valverde (Orbitur) in Praia da Luz, Lagos municipality.
The first customers after reopening "have arrived and are expected more until the weekend", which leaves Teresa Neto optimistic about the next summer, despite knowing that the occupation will be "far from the values ??of last year".
Considering that "people are in need of leaving home", the manager expects, therefore, "greater demand" by the Portuguese, even though she can only offer two thirds of the park's total occupation.
During the state of emergency, reservations were cancelled for May and June, but "many remain" for July and August, said Teresa Neto, adding that the new appointments she has received for the next month are from both foreigners and Portuguese.
The size of the park "allows for a spacing between people, which is a great advantage", and the adhesion to the 'Safe & Clean' seal gives guarantees in terms of "cleaning and sanitizing the changing rooms, after each use", she said.
Only the social room, the playground, the swimming pool and the restaurant "are still closed", waiting for the "outline of the measures to be adopted" so that they can be opened safely.
The Association of Camping Sites in the Alentejo and Algarve (APCAA) points to 25 May the opening of the parks “with all the required security guarantees” and with a reduction in the area made available, an inflow is expected “below the normal ”in the month of June.
"This is a period occupied by 90 percent by foreign customers and only in July and August do Portuguese customers come," revealed Joaquim Lourenço.
The leader of the association stressed that they are asking members "to adhere to the 'Clean & Safe' seal" and those who do not, to follow the contingency plans created before the campsites closed.
He revealed, in the particular case of his park, that he had received “many questions about the conditions and even bookings” to camp in the summer with tents, motorhomes or 'glamping', in what he considered to be “adherence to this mode of outdoor vacation” .
For Joaquim Lourenço, caravanning outside legal spaces deserves “special attention from the authorities”, emphasizing that “only in this way can there be more foreign customers in June”.
The leader pointed out that the information for the opening on 18 May “only arrived last weekend” and the existence of workers in a lay-off regime implies a legal obligation to restart the activity “in an eight-day period” so that it is possible to keep “some of the workers in this regime”, since the “capacity will have to be reduced by one third”.
For the association, “it was important that the Ministry of Education had a constructive vision of the tourism sector, which represents 17 percent of the national GDP”, emphasizing that health professionals and law enforcement officers “manage to put their children in school” and those in tourism “have to be with them at home, without being able to prepare for the bathing season”.