Tourist developments in the Center have breaks above 75% in December – Leiria region

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More than 60% of the 1100 tourism developments in the Center region are expected to register revenue declines of over 75% in December compared to 2019, the president of Turismo Centro de Portugal (TCP) told Lusa.

According to Pedro Machado, this trend is expected to continue in the months of January and February 2021.

The official stressed that “the measures announced by the government, namely the Apoiar program, are currently greeted with some satisfaction”, but that they are not “sufficient to reverse the trend of loss of revenue and, in particular , the drop in the number of reservations ”.

“Especially when the suspension of many New Year’s Eve festivities is announced or when many are replaced by parties that can be followed online,” he said.

In addition to this scenario, Pedro Machado adds “the compulsive loss of the Spanish market, which were normally tourists who came to central Portugal and, in particular, to large parties”, as is the case with Aveiro, Figueira da Foz, Mira, Nazaré and Santa Cruz (Torres Vedras).

“These are usually very strong festivities on New Year’s Eve and this year they will not be able to count on the same number of Portuguese and, above all, they will not be able to count on the large number of Spanish tourists who used to receive in recent years, “he said.

In addition, 45 tourist establishments in the Center region will be closed, “which is worrying, as there was normally no tendency to close so many tourist establishments during the Christmas period and the end of the year”.

“The only window of opportunity that I think can arise will be if the state is able to meet the first and second rounds of vaccination, in order to build the confidence of markets, especially the shipping markets that vaccinate. currently, as is the case. United Kingdom, Germany and France, among others ”, predicted the president of TCP.

Pedro Machado estimated that the situation could improve, “if these countries make the obvious choice in 2021, which is Portugal, because it is a destination that is within a radius of two or three hours by plane, and that it is in the process of vaccinating, like the European countries, and constitutes a valid alternative to destinations such as Brazil, the United States or Africa ”.

The official also indicated that in November, “more than 49% of hosting companies recorded losses greater than 90% in billing.”

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More serious, he stressed, is that “more than 25% of companies could not pay wages in November and 09% paid part of the wages”.

“About 26% of companies had to resort to financing, especially banking, to be able to pay the salaries of their employees in November,” he added.

In this scenario, the president of TCP finds “very worrying that more than 14% of the companies assume that they will not be able to maintain all the jobs before the end of the year”.

According to Pedro Machado, the losses between March and November 2020, compared to the same period of 2019, are very relevant, with 49% of tourist establishments recording “loss of income of more than 50%”.

“Only 7.9% recorded losses lower than these figures [dos 50%], which vary between 20/25/30% “, said the official, referring that, according to the latest barometer of the Portuguese Association of Hotels, Restaurants and the like (AHRESP), it is estimated that” at the level of restaurants and the number of homes is much higher than these, especially in terms of billing ”.

Pedro Machado also mentioned that “29% of companies operate their business in leased spaces and 54% of them have tried to reduce the value of the rent”, but without success.

According to the president of TCP, “42% of tenants already had arrears, that is to say between five months and more in arrears”.

“This balloon that the government has announced will be able to reverse this trend a bit, but I do not think it will be enough to overcome it, especially what is the expected loss that should occur in December, January and February, which are the most critical », He underlined.

Since the start of the state of emergency, 28% of companies have made redundancies, which means that “of these, more than 33% have reduced their workforce by 25 to 50%, and around 27% of these businesses have declined by more than 50%. % their jobs ”.

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