The progressive recovery measures approved on Monday by the government "do not satisfy" tourism companies in the region, said today the president of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA) after a meeting with the secretary of state for the sector.
"These measures may, perhaps, adjust to the needs and requirements of other sectors of activity in the rest of the country, but they do not, of course, satisfy the situation in the Algarve", said Elidérico Viegas, on the measures to support the progressive recovery yesterday approved by the council of ministers.
For the business leader, the Secretary of State for Tourism came to Faro – where at the headquarters of Turismo do Algarve met with unions, business associations and mayors – “to announce the measures that the government has approved for the country, not for the Algarve or for tourism ”.
"What was expected was that there could be positive discrimination measures for the region, much more affected than the rest of the country, given its dependence on a single sector of activity", stressed the president of AHETA.
In view of the negative estimates, in addition to the demands that went through the extension of the simplified layoff and the formation of assets in the low season, Elidérico Viegas wants specific support until next Easter, a period foreseen for the recovery of tourism in the region.
“Unemployment, starting in October, will continue to increase exponentially. In the case of the Algarve, there is no progressive recovery, nor is there a recovery. If there is any recovery in activity, it will only occur as of Easter next year ”, said the associative leader.
The Secretary of State for Tourism recalled that the progressive recovery measures are linked to the Supplementary Budget and that the continuous evaluation of the measures will allow the possibility of extending support at the start of 2021 to be kept on the table.
“We don't close the door on anything, being sure that each decision has its right timing. Bearing in mind that we have a recently approved Supplementary Budget, we intend to guarantee support here until the end of the year. We will see how the pandemic evolves as well, ”said Rita Marques.
For the minister, “despite the fact that there is no explicit reference to the tourism sector”, the measure related to additional support for companies with a break in revenues equal to or greater than 75% “has the ultimate objective of ensuring jobs in the tourism sector. ”.
According to the president of AHETA, if these supports are given due to the break in billing in the two months prior to the request, this will penalize companies in the region.
“In the months of July and August, although far below what is usual in previous years, [as empresas] they won't have a 75% break, they'll have a lower break. In addition to not serving or adapting the region's interests, these measures can still penalize the region in this perspective ”, he concluded.
The Hotelry Union of the Algarve has also responded to the meeting with the Secretary of State, considering the measures announced "out of step" with the reality of the region.