"The year 2022 has been an exceptional year in the recovery of confidence of our customers. Portugal will lead the economic growth in the EU," said the president of the Hotel Association of Portugal.
The president of the Hotel Association of Portugal (AHP), Bernardo Trindade, stressed on Thursday that 2022 “has been exceptional” in the recovery of confidence, but that “realistically” tourism, key to economic recovery, still needs to be helped.
“The year 2022 has been an exceptional year in the recovery of confidence of our customers. Portugal will lead the economic growth in the European Union, with a clear fingerprint: tourism as the driving force of this recovery,” said Bernardo Trindade at the opening ceremony of the 33rd National Congress of Hospitality and Tourism, promoted by AHP, which takes place in Fátima.
The president of AHP recalled that the years of the pandemic set the sector back 20 years in terms of overnight stays and 10 years in terms of revenues.
He recalled that – even if we beat revenue records in 2022 – the war in Ukraine has brought “such a degree of uncertainty in the construction of the tourism value chain” that it is not possible to say “what level of results” will close this year. In addition, “everything is more expensive”, from the cost of labour, to electricity and gas, the food chain and various services. These factors mean that the outlook remains “uncertain,” he said.
“Therefore, Mr. Minister [of Economy], Mrs. Secretary of State [of Tourism], esteemed associates, we loyally want to continue to be partners, contributors to this economic and social recovery of the country, but realistically we have to be helped,” added Bernardo Trindade.
The minister of the economy, António Costa Silva, and the secretary of state for tourism, Rita Marques, are present at the opening ceremony of the hotel congress, which is attended by around 550 people, according to the executive president of the AHP, Cristina Siza Vieira, told Lusa.
About the package of three billion euros of support for companies to cope with the increase in electricity and gas bills that the prime minister, António Costa, announced, Bernardo Trindade welcomed this announcement and said that the AHP expectation is that they will be “included in this aid package”.
He also addressed the deterioration of the financial autonomy of hotel companies during the pandemic, warning that it is necessary to extend the maturities of credit lines to support Covid-19, whose maturities are in many cases now coming to an end.
The 33rd National Congress of Hotels and Tourism runs until Friday.