Hotels, ‘pousada’ inns and AL properties offer 4,500 new beds this year to university students

Hotels, ‘pousadas’ and even AL (alojamento local) properties have signed up to an initiative to provide university students with much-needed accommodation in this virus-blighted new academic year.

The government has just announced the plan which effectively brings 4,500 new beds into the sector severely affected by measures imposed due to the pandemic.

Explains Lusa, before the new arrangement there were 12,855 ‘public beds’ available. These were boosted by 1,100 through a number of agreements with town councils and private institutions – and now the extra 4,500 coming onboard bring the total available to 18,455 from October.

Says the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, the protocols will ensure “conditions of comfort, quality and safety” for students, while at the same time guaranteeing the sustainability of touristic facilities which would otherwise have faced serious problems given the lack of tourists coming to Portugal during the pandemic.

The agreements are being signed in Porto, Vila Real and Lisbon this week, with another bonus being prices agreed.

Says Lusa, these have suffered a ‘generalised fall’ in the face of Covid-19. Lisbon’s 2019 average for student accommodation of around €593 has dropped to €500 a month, while Porto’s has gone from €460 to around €421.