The biggest business associations in the Algarve today called on the Government to intensify diplomacy with the countries that imposed mandatory quarantine on tourists returning from Portugal, so that the decision is reversed.
“Business associations in the Algarve call on the Government to intensify their political action, in the sense of quickly changing the decisions of those countries to impose quarantine on tourists from Portugal and in particular in the Algarve”, in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, read in a statement sent to the Lusa agency by the six largest associations of businesspeople in the Algarve.
The document is signed by the Confederation of Entrepreneurs of the Algarve (CEAL) and associations of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), Commerce and Services of the Algarve Region (ACRAL), Hotel and Similar Industry of the Algarve (AIHSA), Núcleo Empresarial da Algarve Region (NERA) and National Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE).
Entrepreneurs consider that the situation in the Algarve “has worsened dramatically, as a result of the mandatory quarantine imposed by the United Kingdom, for tourists from Portugal, and the same situation is being extended to other countries”.
"This is a profound blow to the expectations of businessmen and the economy of the region, the consequence of which can lead to thousands of insolvencies," they warn.
Portugal has been excluded from international travel corridors with tourist destinations to which the British Government authorizes British citizens to travel without having to comply with a 14-day quarantine period on their return to the country.
Portugal is not included in the list of 59 countries and territories published on July 3, which includes Spain, Germany, Greece, Italy, Macau or Jamaica.
The British market represents about 6.4 million overnight stays per year for the Algarve, a third of tourists and overnight stays and almost 50% of passengers arriving at Faro airport.
For the associations, the fall in the tourist markets, “especially in the British, defrauded not only the expectations of mitigating the losses of companies, accumulated since March, but also the hope of facing the low season in better conditions”.
Entrepreneurs recall that the crisis that hit Portugal as a result of the covid-19 pandemic paralyzed the activity of tourism, "the main economic sector, with the almost total closure of accommodation units, as a result of the sudden stop of tourist travel" .
The break in the influx of tourists, in addition to the effects on accommodation, had consequences in all economic sectors, in a universe of 70 thousand companies, of which 20 thousand are companies.
“This situation led to a drop in activity by companies in different sectors of the order of 70%, 80%, 90%. It generated unemployment and stopped hiring workers for the summer. Investment froze, ”reads the document.
The associations of businesspeople in the Algarve welcome the Special Recovery Plan for the Algarve, announced by the Government, considering that it “is urgent, pending that it contains the appropriate solutions to the situation”.
The associations consider that the Algarve needs a strategic vision which, “with tourism as its main activity, points to lines of economic diversification, in the use of endogenous resources, in a perspective of a modern and competitive economy, based on sustainable development, also taking into account account of the new economic recovery framework recently proposed by the European Union ”.
According to the businessmen, hearings will be requested from the Government and the President of the Republic to present “the lines of work and a package of proposals with concrete measures”.