"In the medium term, from 2022, we expect growth and we hope to reach the numbers we had [before the pandemic] in global terms perhaps in 2023," said the president of Lisbon Region Tourism.
Lisbon’s tourist board has no great expectations for tourism in the capital this summer, considering that the recovery of the sector in the city will be slow and should only appear from 2022.
“In the medium term, from 2022, we expect growth and we hope to reach the numbers we had [before the pandemic] in global terms perhaps in 2023,” stressed Vítor Costa, president of Lisbon Region Tourism.
Regarding this year, the tourist summer in Lisbon should improve compared to the first months of the year, but it is not expected “to be an exceptional summer”.
“Our expectation and the opinions we have today from hoteliers is that from September onwards there may be a little more growth. In the summer there will be something different, but no explosion,” he said.
Vítor Costa also stressed that it is difficult to make sustained forecasts for Lisbon due to the type of tourist that seeks the city, normally booking at the last minute.
“Our ‘normal’ tourists come for two, three days, weekends. There was already the tendency of reservations being more short notice, and now, because of the pandemic, that tendency is even greater. Therefore, what I am saying today in May may be different in June and July”, he stressed.
He also noted that the British government’s decision to open up airports to travel to Portugal was very important for the country as a whole and also carried weight in Lisbon, although much less than in other regions, namely the Algarve, where the sector works through operators that can already anticipate the number of bookings they have.
On the other hand, he pointed out, there are also problems in markets that led the tourism that seeks Lisbon, such as the Brazilian, which was the first in terms of overnight stays in 2019 and that, mainly due to the pandemic, “this year will be irrelevant”.
Other specific segments that are important for Lisbon, such as congresses, are at a standstill, with “many things having been scheduled” but postponed to this year and “many are already being postponed to 2022.”