International flights have already started to return to the Algarve. Companies such as Edelweiss, Luxair Tours, Transavia, Lufthansa, Ryanair or Jet2 are some of the companies that are announcing the resumption of some of their connections to Faro.
“This is very positive news for the Algarve”, says João Fernandes, president of Turismo do Algarve. "The destination is attracting growing interest among airlines and international tour operators and this is a clear sign of the confidence that we are managing to convey to all travellers", he adds. Thus, this Thursday, May 28, Edelweiss Air resumed their connection between Zurich and Faro, while Luxair Tours will reinstate their flights between Luxembourg and Faro on May 31.
Transavia Netherlands resumes operation from Amsterdam to Faro on 4 June, and one of the first 20 routes that Lufthansa will reopen will have Faro as its destination. Ryanair and Jet2 resume operations in Faro on 1 July. “The Algarve is being recognized as a safe and well-prepared destination to return to receiving tourists, which validates the enormous commitment and joint effort that all agents in the region's tourism sector have made, in order to implement the best practices for to ensure the protection and well-being of all those who visit us ”, says João Fernandes.
“We believe that this perception is also the result of the intense promotional campaign that Turismo do Algarve, together with Turismo de Portugal and Faro International Airport, has developed with the various international markets”, he adds.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, recalls the Tourism Association of the Algarve (ATA), the region has never stopped communicating with its audiences – both tourists and industry agents -, betting on strong online and social media campaigns and developing innovative tools, such as virtual visits and tours of popular destinations.
“We sought, from an early age, to maintain the reputation of the destination in the top of the mind of its main issuing markets and to strengthen the involvement of the Algarve brand with its audiences, through a responsible reassurance, confident in the face of the work carried out, pioneer - through initiatives like the “clean & safe” seal and the manual of good practices - and inspiring in view of the attributes of the destination. We now reap the first fruits of this strategy” states Fernandes.
As the ‘bathing season’ draws nearer, the Algarve "is ready to receive tourists in complete safety", he says. For those arriving by plane, this will be visible as soon as they enter Faro International Airport, where passengers will find a set of measures implemented in accordance with the instructions of health entities and the National Civil Aviation Authority, such as: temperature measurement at arrivals to test for fever, the availability of hand sanitizers at all points throughout the airport, the existence of signs promoting the need for physical distance and awareness of the use of a mask, and the installation of protections at the counters to protect staff, among others.
“Throughout their stay, tourists will have the opportunity to prove and feel the commitment that the destination has made to the safety of its visitors, and which includes the involvement of all agents in the region, including, in addition to those directly associated with the sector tourism, municipalities, security forces and services, health organizations, the Portuguese Environment Agency, among others,” says João Fernandes.
“In that sense, we are confident that whoever visits the Algarve will have a good experience, will feel comfortable and protected, and will, for sure, share that perception with other people. This word of mouth will be a fundamental contribution to regaining the confidence and willingness to travel from family and friends “, he concludes.