The Portuguese Hotel Association (AHP) expects that the loss of hotel revenues in 2020 could be more than €3.6 billion.
The president of the Portuguese Hotel Association (AHP), Raul Martins, estimated that the loss of hotel revenues in 2020 could be more than €3.6 billion, a more pessimistic forecast than the one made in June.
In an interview with Lusa, Raul Martins said that the association’s estimate is currently for a drop in revenues of around 70% this year, which will be more than estimated months before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The drop is around 70%, there are estimates of others that are around 60%, but with the evolution that we are having in Europe and without tourists from other continents, I only see that it can be worse than that, I have no other expectations, said Raul Martins.
On 4 June, the executive president of AHP, Cristina Siza Vieira, said that the association estimated revenue losses of between €3.2 billion and €3.6 billion this year.
Now, Raul Martins recalled that in June, the AHP was still expecting that in the following month the situation would recover, but that in the meantime there were hotels that were to open as of July, but they did not open, particularly in the cities.
“The expectation was that in July there would be a recovery […], it did not exist and therefore the expectation is in fact that the reduction or loss of income in tourism will be greater than that” which had been initially estimated.
About the help, the domestic market has given this summer to companies in the sector that have seen themselves deprived of foreign tourists at the level of recent years, the president of the AHP admits that the flow of the Portuguese has saved many companies.
“It saved them in the sense that the losses were contained or there were almost no losses. You see, the Algarve, even more in September than in August – July in that respect it didn’t work out much – but in August there was a reasonable growth in domestic tourism and in September there was, I believe, more than 30% increase in domestic tourism in the Algarve,” he said.
According to him, in Lisbon, for example, hotel occupancy already after July is on average, compared to the offer, 15% and some have less, he said.
In Porto, Raul Martins said that it is at most 25%.
“The cities have suffered the most because people know that there are more people in the cities. So people want to go to rural areas where there are fewer people. Look at what happened now in the Algarve: Albufeira was deserted because it was where more people were concentrated. However, people went elsewhere where there was less chance of a large number of people.”
Raul Martins said that this paradigm of hotel and tourism is changing, and even was, but now it has changed more quickly and will not go back.
“We are not going back to the same level of agglomerations that we had. People will increasingly want to go to places where they are more private for all sorts of reasons and one more: now they have learned that this will be even more interesting. Now, there will always be younger people who want to have more people,” he said.
There is the conviction that one will not go back to the stake before 2019.
“There will be a change in tourists’ preferences. There was already, these things of walks, hiking (…) and now there is another reason,” the pandemic, he said.