Cristina Siza Vieira, president of the Associação da Hotelaria de Portugal (AHP)

Formula 1 will benefit the entire Algarve, says president of hotel association

The executive president of Portugal’s hotel association AHP, Cristina Siza Vieira, says that the hosting of the forthcoming Formula 1 races in the Algarve will have an “amazing effect on hotels and trade” in the region.

Taking place in the city of Portimão at the Algarve International Autodrome (AIA) from October 23-25, the event is expected to pack out hotels not only in the region’s second city, but also in other towns in the Algarve.

The Algarve region, which relies on tourism for the lion’s share of its revenues, was devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic which saw tourist numbers plummet to the lowest levels since records began.

Now it is hoped that the hosting of the famous Formula 1 Grand Prix race will make up for some of last summer’s losses with financial benefits for hotels, restaurants, bars, cafés and shops extending far beyond the town of Portimão itself.

Despite not having concrete data from the AHP regarding hotel bookings at the time of the event, Cristina Siza Vieira tells news agency Lusa that 10,000 people alone who are linked to the organisation will attend the race.

“We can already see that this will have a huge impact in terms of numbers and we, therefore, expect that the whole region will be buzzing from this event,” she says.

Despite this being the first time that the Algarve will host an event of this type and size, the AHP president stresses that the region has already hosted top-class motor events and adds that the expectation is that the impact will be felt more in four- and five-star hotels.

“We’ve never had a motorsport event on this scale, but we know from the price of the tickets that the Formula 1 client is a demanding one,” she says.

Regarding the region entering low season, the Cristina Siza Vieira explains that some hotel groups have already shown their intention to close some hotel units because of a lack of demand.

However, the AHP president expects that the discounts campaign launched by Turismo de Portugal (#YOUCAN/#TUPODES), which the AHP is associated with through the bookings platform Click2Portugal, should help boost the hotel sector.

“We don’t expect that this will change the overall situation but could stimulate demand through direct bookings,” she concludes.

By CHRIS GRAEME/Essential Business
chris.graeme@open-media.net