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Algarve: The tourist season makes a strong and welcome return

ALGARVE: THE TOURIST SEASON MAKES A STRONG AND WELCOME RETURNThe president of Turismo do Algarve has announced that the tourist occupancy rate for June in the Algarve is expected to be around 80%, with around 17,000 passengers to be disembarking at Faro airport.

"There is a clear sign in the resumption of demand from national and foreign tourists, which is more robust than the perspectives at the beginning of the year", said João Fernandes, estimating the occupancy for the long weekends in June at around 80% .

According to the person in charge of the Algarve Tourism Region (RTA), bookings from June to October "are at levels close to those of 2019", with the return of traditional tourism from the United Kingdom and Ireland, and also golfers, which in recent years "has shown significant drops".

In addition to the 100 flights per day arriving at Faro airport, the long weekend this weekend, the Corpus Christi bank holiday on June 16th and the municipal holiday on June 13th in Lisbon and elsewhere will also attract many Portuguese to the South. 

As well as the the British and Irish holidaymakers, French-speaking  visitors from France, Belgium and Switzerland are on the increase, plus the arrival of groups of companies that travel to the Algarve to hold meetings.

The president of RTA warned, however, of the lack of manpower in various sectors of the Algarve, and also in Tourism, due to the fact that there are "less and less young people entering the job market". He said "before, people went to the Alentejo to look for workers", but now that region has also developed its own tourist sector, the "only possibility is to recruit people from outside the country".

"It has been difficult to meet the needs we have" he said, despite the fact that the region has "significantly increased" the wages paid in the sector.

He pointed out two "challenges" that would solve the problem: "speeding up" the mechanisms to bring in labour from abroad, namely, with the help of the Foreigners and Borders Services (SEF), and "ensuring decent conditions" of residence for these workers, who are increasingly permanent.

It is not yet possible to conclude whether the war in Ukraine contributed to the increase in foreign tourism in the Algarve, but the region certainly benefits from the fact that it is far from the conflict and that Portugal is considered a safe country.

According to the president of the RTA, Portugal gave “a good response” in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic and the Algarve received some international awards during the pandemic, which “reinforced the notoriety” of the region.

"We are reaping the fruits of the work that we have been developing", he concluded.


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