Entrepreneur André Jordan
Entrepreneur André Jordan Photo: CHRIS GRAEME

“Many companies in tourism sector won’t survive”

Entrepreneur André Jordan predicts bankruptcies and unemployment due to Covid-19 crisis

André Jordan, one of the forefathers of luxury tourism in Portugal, has predicted that many companies within the tourism sector will not survive the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also predicts that bankruptcies and closures will lead to a “serious unemployment problem”.

During a recent interview with State television channel RTP, he highlighted the unique nature of this latest crisis.

“This pandemic is universal. It is not a crisis caused by the economy. It is perhaps more comparable to the crisis caused by the Second World War, and it’s still not the same,” said André Jordan.

“But even before the pandemic, tourism was talked and written about as if it were one single thing. But the truth is, there are many types of tourism. And we haven’t been able to identify and promote each sector,” he added.

While the 87-year-old tourism entrepreneur stressed that residential tourism is “going well” in Portugal despite the pandemic, he said that the traditional holiday sector is still a mystery.

“Let’s see what will happen this summer,” he said.

André Jordan also defended the government’s actions during the pandemic, saying it has done “what it can to manage the situation, which is very difficult and unpredictable”.

He added that instead of “distributing money freely”, which he believes is a “great risk and will not have lasting effects”, the focus should be on promoting and stimulating the tourism sector – namely “quality tourism”.

André Jordan also touched upon the issues of digital and green transition, and the impact that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) could have on the economy.

As he pointed out, the “consequences of progress are not being thought about”.

“Plastic is a ‘bad word’ these days,” he stressed, adding that reducing or abolishing plastic will have an impact on the plastic production industry that is not being assessed.

“AI is even more dangerous. The idea of using a robot is to replace human workers. So, unlike what some people say, AI won’t create more jobs,” he said, also targeting the recent voyages into space by some of the world’s richest people.

“How is it possible for humans to applaud three madmen who live off the inflation of the value of their companies competing against each other in space and spending billions,” he questioned.

“I’m not just worried about the gap between the rich and the poor. I’m worried about the people who won’t be able to survive, and money has to come from where it exists, and it exists in the excesses of those who have too much,” the entrepreneur added.

Best known for his contributions to the development of tourism in Portugal, André Jordan was recently officially named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). (Click here)

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com