The sector "is currently living with great uncertainty with the restrictions, in a crisis that has no end in sight," said Cristóvão Lopes, the president of ARHESP.
The president of the Algarve hoteliers and restauranteurs association (ARHESP), Cristóvão Lopes, said on Friday that the Algarve has lost around 85% of its income due to the pandemic, and is “in survival mode”.
Cristóvão Lopes said that the sector “is currently living with great uncertainty with the restrictions, in a crisis that has no end in sight”.
“This is the biggest crisis we have ever experienced, in which the tourism sector has lost, on average, about two-thirds of its revenues and seen its importance to gross domestic product fall by half, this in national terms because only in the Algarve these losses were 85%,” he said.
“We have several unknowns ahead of us and we are trying to adapt to the current highly volatile context, in which the rules change weekly, often without any period for us to adapt, and with a very serious impact on our guests,” he said.
The hotel industry, he said, is transforming its spaces in order to avoid crowding and promoting areas in their outdoor spaces, whenever possible.
The crisis has also set new trends, with demand for more rural and less crowded geographical destinations, to which hotel groups are not indifferent, diversifying their proposals.
“These are projects that will have different scales but are an opportunity to focus on another type of offer and further complement our tourism offer,” he described.
Despite the “clouds” that still hang over the sector, he was optimistic about the future, noting that “whenever the measures have been relaxed, people have travelled again and want to do so again.”