PORTUGAL is planning on tourism returning this summer as restaurants get ready to open their doors in May, and hotels plan on opening at the end of June, according to the country’s tourism and hotel associations. So tourists looking to go on holiday this year, may want to seriously consider Portugal.
Raul Martins, President of the Association of Portuguese Hotels, said he expects the majority of hotels will start to reopen in July, “but some will probably open in June, with a special sanitary guarantee” to reassure tourists and clients that it is a coronavirus-free establishment.
According to Martins and travel blog Portugalist, holidaymakers are “counting the days” before it is safe to return to the country. Portugal continues to represent a safe destination for many holidaymakers, confirms Portugalist, with 78 per cent tourists saying that the country has done a good job in response to the coronavirus crisis. According to its recent survey, the majority of holidaymakers are planning on travelling to Portugal either in the autumn or winter of this year.
Restaurants will be among the businesses expected to return to business during the month of May, although guidelines – such as restrictions on the number of clients allowed in an establishment – still have to be worked out. However, Carlos Moura, Vice President of the Portuguese Association of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs (AHRESP), believes that the recovery of the sector “may not happen until the end of May if state support isn’t kept in place to ensure businesses survive and don’t have to resort to mass-dismissals.”
In yesterday’s statement to the public, Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa, had a special message for the people who worked in the country’s tourism sector. “I know we are living in times of anguish, but tourism in Portugal will be golden again,” he stated as he thanked workers and businesses in the sector.
However, according to both tourism associations, hotels and restaurants still have some way to go to get ready for tourists this year, with many calling on the government for an extension of support measures until the industry fully recovers.