Portugal is one of several countries which has seen FCO advice change this week in relation to visiting this summer, hinting at the possibility that the country could be on the green list expected to be announced by the British government.

The Foreign Office is no longer stating that only essential travel is allowed for Portugal (except for the Azores), with similar changes also being made on the advice given for Israel and some Spanish and Greek islands.

It is currently still illegal for British tourists to travel abroad for a holiday but this is widely expected to change on 17 May, when the next stage of the UK road map is to be announced.

At the time of going to press, the “green list” of countries that Brits are able to travel to for holidays was expected to be published by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, the Algarve tourism board, Turismo do Algarve, has launched a new promotional campaign aimed at encouraging last minute bookings to the region for this summer.

The entity has announced that they are working in partnership with some of the main European airlines and tour operators that work with the Algarve, with the objective of strengthening the destination’s notoriety, arousing the interest of new visitors and converting that interest into bookings during the coming summer months.

Currently there are already 26 promotional campaigns that are advancing in strategic markets for the region: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland. These campaigns, which represent an investment of around €7 million, have been launched, in phases since April, according to the lifting of travel restrictions and the behaviour of travellers in each country.

“We are confident that this summer will be substantially better than the year before,” says João Fernandes, president of Turismo do Algarve. “Even though unforeseen circumstances can always arise, the signs we have regarding the resumption of demand from foreign markets are positive. Everything points to the progressive restoration of free movement in Europe, taking into account the evolution of the vaccination process and the advances towards the creation of the digital vaccination passport that have already been announced by the European Commission ”, he said.

The lifting of travel restrictions in some countries, has allowed the Algarve to expect the arrival of more foreign tourists as of May, this has also been helped thanks to airlines and tour operators working with the tourism board.

According to João Fernandes: “We have been counting on the huge commitment on the part of these partners, around a common goal, which has already allowed the Algarve to recover the regular air capacity of Faro Airport and to resume most of the missed connections in 2020.

“The feedback we have received is positive, with some of the partners already reporting a record of increased demand for flights to the region,” he added while highlighting that partners working with the board include airlines such as Ryanair, easyJet and British Airways, alongside renowned tour operators.

“Everything indicates that people continue to want to travel and that there is a demand that has been repressed due to the context of the pandemic. Our expectation is that, over the next few months, the environment will be more conducive to making reservations. As such, we want to use these campaigns to encourage last minute bookings, showing people that they still have time to book their holidays in a destination that is fully prepared to receive them, with security, quality and flexibility ”, he concluded.