Today, Portugal starts to emerge from hibernation. It is a long road, but one that saved lives. Stores slowly reopen, public transport is running, and new roles are in place to help keep people safe. The year 2019 was a record one for tourism and Portugal is now the third most tourism-dependent country in Europe.
When the lockdown started - on March 14th - every hotel, restaurant, and museum had to close its doors. On May 2nd, the state of emergency came to an end. But new innovative measures are being put in place to keep guests safe in the months ahead. TAP hopes to resume some flights in June, launching Boston-Azores service in July.
Even though companies here are facing economic challenges, the strict and prompt measures taken by the government are actually leading to a positive rebound in Portuguese tourism.
See more at our website, http://portugal-adventures.com
Here is what is going on, according to editor Bárbara Cunha:
Portugal Begins To Reopen After Its Coronavirus Lockdown
“Don’t Cancel, Postpone” is a pioneering campaign presented by Portugal to allow clients to reschedule their holiday plans, instead of canceling them. Companies like TAP and Airbnb are offering vouchers to help reduce the damage from the crisis that is affecting the travel sector.
The “Clean and Safe” stamp was developed by Turismo de Portugal to certify that hotels and other tourism businesses are respecting hygiene and confidence measures.
Portugal is expecting its positive overall vision of the situation to attract foreign investors and tourists to help rebuild the country’s economy.
The country participates with €10 million to find the vaccine to fight COVID-19.
“Made in Portugal” masks production is increasing and looking forward to supplying not only European countries - and at an affordable price.
A Good Sign
Several are the international media posts that talk about how well Portugal reacted to prevent the worst, and how the country might have a quicker economic recovery from the consequences caused by the pandemic.
Hotels in Portugal are already making plans to reopen in July to welcome guests during the summer season around the country.
Restaurants around the country will have to take exceptional measures to allow them to reopen in safety by the end of the confinement.
Brits gave 20 good reasons to visit Portugal after the crisis.
Even though the next months are hard to predict in terms of tourism, the Algarve already feels an increase in its hotels’ bookings.
The Madeira Promotion Bureau has approved the launch of a certification process for best practices in relation to the management of biological risks, which will be available to its associated companies.
Algarve among top places to live and retire for US citizens post COVID-19.
What one US Tour Operator is doing:
Sagres Vacations is sharing recent developments in Portugal and Spain and what we can expect travel to look like in the future.
They understand that social distancing will be a part of our daily lives for the near future and travelers will be focused on a more tailored and private tour experience.
Here are some of the concrete actions they are currently taking...
- Developed a Series of Weekly Webinars to Travel Agent Community focused on each region of Portugal, co-hosted by local Tourism Offices.
- Scheduled Weekly Happy Hours with our Travel Agent Partners to talk about some of their questions in a more informal way.
- Created Virtual Destination Nights with Travel Agent Partners, allowing their customers to ask questions in an informal setting.
- They have included masks and hand sanitizer in all our vehicles to welcome our customers in a healthy and safe manner.
- Sagres Vacations has initiated a comprehensive process to design new itineraries focused on small towns and unique experiences that will prioritize more intimate travel experience.
After the Storm
After one month and a half of severe lockdown, the Portuguese are easing their confinement measures.
Golf courses around the country have reopened, but with new restrictions.
The national airline TAP will restart flying with only two-thirds of each plane’s capacity.
What to Visit Next
When things slow down and people start to travel again, a “new normal” will arise. Less crowded places with a strong connection with nature might just be what people will be looking for. And fortunately, Portugal is full of those places. Here’s a list of what you might want to visit next:
Peneda do Gerês National Park
The Douro Region
Serra da Estrela
Shale Villages in Lousã
Baleal Island, in Peniche
Beaches of Serra da Arrábida
The Alentejo & Vicentine Coast
Ria Formosa, in the Algarve