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Support for the tourism sector despite summer being “better than expected”

Published on October 07, 2020

After a summer season 2020 which was better than expected, but still with a huge drop in tourist activity, the Algarve, and indeed the rest of Portugal, is about to enter “the most difficult months” for the tourism sector. Rita Marques, the State Secretary of Tourism has confirmed the government will “act on two fronts”, to maintain support for the maintenance of jobs and also launching a program to promote tourism.

Speaking at the Algarve Hotel and Tourism School, in Faro, the State Secretary of Tourism said “Summer was better than what we had estimated, but still, clearly below what we saw in 2019. The more complicated months are now entering, they are now emerging. It will be October, November, December, and then the first quarter of 2021.”

According to data released yesterday by the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), the average occupancy rate in Algarve hotels this Summer was 52.5%, a drop of almost 40% compared to Summer 2019.

The Government plans to “guarantee a more flexible program to support the recovery”, so that “companies are helped in their commitments to workers”. This comes after complaints of the lack of government support from business owners within the tourism sector.

There will of course also be two events at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (AIA), in Portimão in October/ November this year, namely Formula 1 and Moto GP. It is hoped these will draw in the crowds to boost to Algarve tourism.
“All scenarios contemplate audiences, but different intensities of audiences. This is a negotiation, in short, these are technical conversations, technical meetings, which have been taking place with the General Directorate of Health and with the promoter of the event, in order to find the best scenario, taking into account the difficult situation we find ourselves”, concluded the State Secretary of Tourism.