At a time when carnival decorations already adorn Loulé, several traders confirmed to Lusa that the event helps to boost trade, attracting visitors from all over the country when the Algarve is still in the low season of tourism.
“Carnival is very good for the business”, contributing to “selling a lot”, revealed to Lusa Florentina Mendes, owner of a pastry shop in the city centre, right next to the avenue where the Corsican carnival takes place for three days.
The increase in visitors is visible “from year to year”, said the merchant, who considers the low price of access tickets to the venue - worth two Euros - as one of the advantages for excursions from “different parts of the country”, giving prominence to the city.
The stores that usually prefer to rest their staff at the weekend, even choose to open these three days of Carnival to take advantage of a "calmer" time, trying to compensate for the low season, revealed to Lusa Sílvia Martins, owner of a cafe.
The trader acknowledged that the event attracts “more and more people” to the city, with a significant increase in groups “from outside the Algarve”, even more when there is “help from S. Pedro”, according to good weather forecasts for the Carnival this year, he joked.
Two doors further, the owner of a hardware store confirmed to Lusa the importance of the event for the city, but stressed that it is “the stores selling Chinese products, hotels and restaurants” who most profit from Carnival, admitting that, still, the event “moves the city”.
According to the vice-president of the Chamber of Loulé, Carlos Carmo, although a specific study has not yet been carried out to assess the real return of the event, it is visible that there are “thousands of people who have lunch, spend the night and transit” in the municipality,
“We do not have any concrete data, but we have a perception of what the economic dynamics and affluence are for the event versus the investment of the municipality,” he said, stressing that the event had already become “a reference” in the region at the “pre-summer time”.
The mayor pointed out that “for the first time” a budget of 375 thousand Euros was entered in the municipal budget for Carnival, “properly allocated and visible”, in an investment that is similar to last year.
Cinema is the theme chosen for this year's edition of the Loulé Carnival, which takes to the streets next Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (23, 24 and 25 February).
A total of 600 extras will parade in the streets and on top of the 14 floats that are already ready for the Corsican, one of the oldest in the country, which is over 100 years old.
Entrance tickets in the enclosure keep the value of two Euros, and the funds collected at the ticket office are distributed by social solidarity institutions in the municipality and by the groups that integrate the Corsican animation groups.