They are the most coveted tourists at European level, although they are no longer part of the European Union: the British are lining up to have the green light to make trips outside their country as of May 17th.
"British tour operators have already announced that they will keep activities suspended until June 24th. Which means that the English will not resume travel until July and, until then, the Algarve cannot count on English tourists", said Mário Ferreira, executive president of the NAU group, which has eight hotels in the Algarve.
The expectations of hoteliers in the Algarve for the main summer months, July and August, are aimed at the Portuguese market, as well as the Spanish market, involving people who can travel by car and without relying on air transport.
" Where I see that there may be an important upturn in the British market is in the post-summer period, in mid-September, October and November, and it may be relevant for the golf segment, which is fundamental in the Algarve, " added the president of NAU hotels, stressing that "it was important for the English to return to the Algarve".
Last week, Portugal had already authorised the arrival of English citizens for professional, study, family reunions or humanitarian purposes, and TAP started to make 15 weekly flights from Portugal to London Heathrow on 23rd April. It is mandatory, in any circumstance, to present a negative Covid test (does not apply to children under 24 months).
"We are happy to welcome British citizens who want to visit us from next month," Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira said this Wednesday, reiterating that Portugal is open to receiving travel from the British as of 17th May, with a view to facilitating unrestricted travel with the proof that people are vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid-19.
From May 17th, it is expected that the British will be authorised to travel outside their country - this still needs definitive confirmation by the British Government - allowing them come to Portugal to take a vacation without the travel having to be justified by essential reasons.
The control of the pandemic is still in a gray phase, despite the eagerness of the destinations to want to open tourism in the perspective of saving the summer . And even with the UK confirming May 17th as the date to open up, allowing citizens the possibility of making trips abroad, there is nothing to prevent the UK governent from making recommendations to restrict certain destinations, or opening 'corridors' with discriminated rules.
Time will tell....
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/