Tourism worries may generate “tricky situation” for small-business owners in the Algarve

tricky situationAlgfuturo – the Algarve Business Union has expressed concerns at the effects of Covid-19 related travel worries on the regional economy.

The Union have stated that they are closely monitoring the “global situation already caused by the virus and expresses its solidarity with the rest of the country and the world. Without alarmism, but being seeking news on how it may affect the Algarve economy and society, in view of the available indicators and projection of multiplier impacts, the sense of responsibility of businesses, and a proactive attitude that minimizes worries.”

In a statement, the association led by ex-Faro mayor José Vitorino warns that “if the pandemic is not controlled by the end of March, the negative effects on tourism combined with structural weaknesses in the region could cause an tricky economic and social situation, more serious than in other regions”, for which reason it encourages “public authorities to immediately create a transversal monitoring committee, given the impacts already felt”.

Algfuturo also asks for the creation of a “credit line for quick and simplified treasury and special support for charges of companies, if the situation continues»”, as well as the preparation, “right now, of specific promotion campaigns for the tourism in the Algarve, to launch immediately after the declaration of the end of the pandemic”.

Moreover, the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA) has been following the evolution of COVID-19 with regard to the impacts on the tourist and business sector in the region.

The association carried out a first survey, between the 2nd and 8th of March, in which 58.8 percent of the surveyed hotels and rentals had witnessed cancellation of reservations to some degree related to claims of Covid-19 worries. An important distinction to make here is that a single cancellation would put a hotel/rental in this majority percentage. The survey is looking at the number of businesses that have had at least one cancellation, not the percentage of total reservations which have been cancelled.

In other words, "the majority of survey respondents say that the flow of reservations for the tourist season is decreasing", AHETA reported today.

The association representing the sector is now conducting a second survey with a view to obtaining even more detailed information about the true negative impacts of the virus, which has caused a media storm, on tourist activity in the region.

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