Coronavirus outbreak to effect carnival reservations in Portugal

in News · 08-02-2020 10:00:00 · 0 Comments

The outbreak of the new coronavirus could lead to the cancellation of reservations at Portuguese hotels during Carnival, negatively affecting occupancy expectations, estimated the president of the Portuguese Hotel Association (AHP) on 6 February.

"Certainly there will be cancellation of reservations due to the situation of the coronavirus, so our expectation, which was equivalent to last year, must now be less good," said Raul Martins to journalists, at an event in Faro.

According to the president of AHP, the association has already received a recommendation from the ‘online’ booking platform ‘Booking’ so that hotels don’t charge reservations for any cancellations by Asian tourists.

Although he is not yet aware of cancellations, Raul Martins noted that the Chinese tourist population in Portugal, “not being the most important, is considerable”, so, he believes, “sooner or later this [cancellations] will happen”.

That person was speaking on the sidelines of the 8th Congress of the Portuguese Association of Companies of Congresses, Tourist Entertainment and Events (APECATE), which takes place between 6 February and 8 February at the University of Algarve and at the School of Hotel and Tourism.

"Our fear is in fact that it may affect tourism and we do not know when it will stop, because we do not know - at this moment, no one yet knows - when it [the epidemic] can be controlled", he stressed.

Raul Martins even considered that the control that is being done on tourists from Asian countries “has been insufficient”, despite “there are already countries like Russia, New Zealand or Iraq, that do not accept travellers from these origins”.

The president of AHP argues that the departure of people from China “has to be more conditioned than what is happening now” and that, “sooner or later”, the World Health Organization (WHO) should “impose this in China".

The Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, said, on the sidelines of the congress, that the impact on tourism, at this time, "is still quite small" and that "everything will depend on the time it will take to resolve" the new outbreak.

"If we manage, in the global context, to resolve the issue next month, the impact will be greatly reduced and probably negligible," he said, noting that the Asian market is "residual", although important, due to its great growth.

China today raised to 563 dead and more than 28,000 infected the balance of the pneumonia outbreak caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) detected last December in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province, placed under quarantine.

On 30 January, WHO declared an international public health emergency situation, which presupposes the adoption of prevention and coordination measures worldwide.


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