Lagoa council sets 2020 sustainability goals

More than 60% of Algarve hotels suffer holiday booking cancellations

More than 60% of Algarve hotels report that they have received cancellations as a result of the Covid 19 outbreak for bookings over the next 3 months. Around 40% of bookings for conferences and promotional events over Easter have also been pulled. These are the knock-on consequences of the epidemic that everyone involved in the tourism sector here has been dreading.

Citing collateral damage this far, Elidérico Viegas – president of the Algarve hoteliers association – said his sector is living on a knife-edge.

Hoteliers are already predicting the closure of businesses and an ‘extensive domino effect’ that could severely damage the entire holiday sector.

It’s not just that cancellations have come in, it is that there are ‘no sales for the summer’, he explained.

People are so concerned about the risk of contracting Covid-19 in airports and on packed airplanes, that they are opting to stay home and ‘stay safe’.

Viegas’ laments come just as the government has doubled its €100 million line of credit to businesses affected by the virus to €200 million.

But credit won’t actually bring people into the region. Viegas has suggested abolishing the Via do Infante motorway tolls, to try and entice Spaniards (who don’t need to fly) here.

This is ‘a developing story’ in that the longer this crisis continues, the worse business for everyone is likely to get.

For now, regional health authority president Paulo Morgado has stressed that from today (Monday) a local laboratory will be equipped to start testing for Covid-19. Before this, all testing has had to be done in Lisbon.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com