“We don’t have clients”: Portugal’s hoteliers association presents government with 10-point emergency programme

Portugal’s hoteliers association AHRESP has  presented the government today with a 10-point emergency programme, explaining: “We don’t have clients”.

The executive’s support available to companies doesn’t take into account that the tourism sector is the one that has been “most affected by the pandemic”, explains AHRESP secretary general Ana Jacinto.

The programme contains proposals that are already being applied in other countries, she added, stressing “they are urgent to save jobs”. 

It includes “a temporary reduction in IVA, a non-refundable incentive to micro, small and medium sized businesses, extension of the simplified lay-off scheme until the end of next year, the dynamisation of consumption, exemption from TSU (social security payment) and risk-sharing with landlords over rental payments”.

The sector needs a “serious campaign” to drum up customers “as we don’t have clients in our establishments”, said Jacinto. 

Some businesses have been closed for eight months already and “there’s the indication that many more will have to shut before the end of the year”.

In short, the situation the sector is experiencing is “dramatic”.

“Unemployment will be frightening”, she warned.

Without the government accepting AHRESP’s programme, the sector simply won’t be able to ‘respond to the impact of the measures coming into place from tomorrow in 121 worst affected boroughs’ (click here), she said.

Indeed a recent AHRESP study taken in October showed that 43% of restaurants and 19% of tourist lodging businesses are already preparing to ‘declare insolvency’.

The same study showed that 45% of restaurants and 25% of tourist lodging businesses had to dismiss staff as a result of the first ‘State of Emergency’, that ran in the spring.

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image: taken during spring lockdown