Tourism bosses expect hotels along the coast and inland could potentially open in July to welcome guests while the Prime Minister has been offering his support to the sector that has been hit especially hard by Covid 19 and the restrictions applied to aviation and the general movement of people.
“The president of the Portuguese Hotel Association (AHP), Raul Martins, has said that most hotels could start reopening in July and that a guarantee seal is being prepared to give confidence to customers. The Portuguese hospitality industry believes that it may start reopening in July, with some hotels possibly being able to open in June, and naturally with all the care and sanitary guarantees”, said Raul Martins after leaving a meeting with the Prime Minister, António Costa. According to him, the hotel industry “is very dependent on aviation and aviation is very conditioned by health security, which will only exist when there is medicine or a vaccine available”, so the opening of the hotels will not be before those dates. Raul Martins revealed that AHP is working with Turismo de Portugal and the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) to create a “health guarantee seal in hotels” to give confidence to customers. As he explained, the objective is to assign the seal to hotels that comply with “a certain protocol” that will be then put in place to allow tourists to feel safe. The president of AHP also said that the reopening for July should happen in relation to holiday hotels, that is, in the bathing areas, inland of the country and islands, but added that the city hotels should only start operating in September. “Occupation levels in the hotels will always be dependent on what aviation can do, but our expectation is that it will be a zero year, if it is not negative,” said Raul Martins. In the meeting with the Prime Minister, in addition to AHP, there were several representatives of hotel groups, including Pestana, Vila Galé, Porto Bay, Sana and Hoti. The Prime Minister has said that the resumption of tourism, after the current Covid-19 pandemic, will depend on the confidence factor and defended that the reopening must be accompanied by “security and hygiene requirements”. This position was conveyed by António Costa in his personal account on Twitter, after having received representatives of the Vila Galé, Porto Bay, Pestana and Sana hotel chains in São Bento, and directors of AHRESP (Association of hotels, restaurants and Portugal). These meetings took place within the scope of the meetings that the executive’s leader started last week, which began with the institutions responsible for projections on the evolution of the Portuguese economy (National Statistics Institute, Banco de Portugal and the Public Finance Council). “Just over a month ago tourism in Portugal was growing in double digits. The reality has changed radically and we are well aware of the enormous difficulties ahead. The sector will be one of the economic activities that will take longer to resume, as it depends on an essential factor: trust”, warned the Prime Minister. In the process of gradual reopening of tourist establishments, according to António Costa, it is essential that “rules are created in order to ensure that all safety and hygiene requirements are met”. “For this purpose, we met with economic operators linked to the tourism sector, namely the hotel and restaurant industry”, justified the executive’s leader. António Costa also left a message regarding the future of this sector in Portugal. “I send a word of hope and thanks to all who work in the tourism sector. I know that we are living in times of distress, but tourism in Portugal is going to be golden again,” wrote the Prime Minister