Algarve tourism boss predicts “much better summer” than last year

Algarve tourism chief João Fernandes has predicted that this summer will be “substantially better” than last year’s for the regional tourism sector.

“Although there could always be unpredictable constraints, the signs that we have about the recovery of demand from external markets are positive,” he said in a communiqué to the press on Tuesday (May 4).

“All signs point towards the progressive reinstatement of free circulation in Europe, considering the evolution of vaccination procedures and the steps forward to create a new Digital Green Certificate (proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19),” the tourism boss said.

Twenty-six promotional campaigns led by the region’s tourism authorities and their partners are currently underway in a bid to attract holidaymakers from the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland.

Says the Algarve Tourism Association (ATA), these campaigns have been launching in phases since April based on the lifting of travel restrictions in other countries and the “behaviour of travellers from each country.”

Each campaign focuses on promoting the region as a “safe destination” to visit that offers a diverse selection of experiences to enjoy, and informing travellers that there is still time to book a “last-minute” trip to Portugal’s sun-drenched southernmost region.

Even more initiatives are in the pipeline, says ATA, adding that around €7 million is due to be invested in the region’s promotional efforts until the end of the year.

Meanwhile, João Fernandes has praised the efforts of airlines and travel tour companies to woo tourists to the region, which have allowed Faro Airport to “resume a large part of the airlinks which were lost in 2020.

“The feedback we have received is positive, with some of our partners already reporting an increase in demand for flights to the Algarve,” said Fernandes, singling out Ryanair, Easyjet and British Airways as some of the airlines reporting growing interest in the region.

“It seems that people still want to travel and that there is a demand that has been ‘repressed’ by the pandemic,” said the tourism chief, adding that the coming months will likely see a more inviting atmosphere for holiday bookings.

“Thus, with these campaigns, we want to encourage last-minute bookings and show people that there is still time for them to book their holidays in a destination that is totally ready to welcome them with safety, quality and flexibility,” Fernandes said.

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Photos: Associação de Turismo do Algarve