Hard times in Carvoeiro.jpg

Hard times in Carvoeiro


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OVERALL HOTEL occupancy in the Algarve during October was down in comparison with the same period last year, from 64 per cent to 59.9 per cent.

One of the areas that has been hardest hit by the drop in tourism levels according to statistics from the AHETA, the Algarve hotel and resorts association, is the fishing town of Carvoeiro.

Hotel occupancy in the Carvoeiro area was reported as being at only 45.3 per cent for October, the lowest level in the region and a drop of 22.8 per cent compared to October 2007.

Low levels of tourists have hit many bars, cafés and restaurants in the town which usually flourishes in the autumn months as golfers and villa owners visit the small town.

One restaurant worker in Carvoeiro told The Resident: “The restaurant I work in is usually one of the busiest in the town but even we are feeling the pinch at the moment. Luckily most of our trade comes from repeat visitors who have their own villas or apartments in the area but numbers are down.”

Carvoeiro is infamous for its lack of parking spaces and a telling sign of tourist levels in the town is the amount of available car parking spaces, especially on the O Farol hill.

A coffee shop worker told The Resident: “Normally I struggle to park my car for work in the morning but there are spaces everywhere and when it is like this the coffee shop is always quiet.”

A Carvoeiro bar owner told The Resident: “The weekends are still busy with residents coming out for a drink or something to eat but during the week it can be very quiet.

“I have had to cancel music acts or send them home early because there are simply not enough people about to justify the wages.”

Boost needed

Another bar owner told The Resident: “The only consolation is that it is quiet in every bar and restaurant in town so at least you know it is not you who is doing something wrong!”

It is hoped by many in the town that the developments to Carvoeiro due to begin early next year will help increase the tourism levels in the town and give a much needed boost to the trade in the area.

“Hopefully when all the work is done people will want to stroll around the town and pop into cafés and bars because it will be easier to get around the town as a pedestrian,” said a British bar owner.

“I have no doubt that although this month has been bad that tourism in Carvoeiro will continue for many years, this is a special place and people love to come here so I am sure the tourists will be back very soon.”

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