Vila Galé Group loses €30 million
The Portuguese hotel group Vila Galé says it has lost around €30 million because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Vila Galé Group put around 80% of its staff in lay-off or teleworking and closed almost all of the hotels it has in Portugal between March and May.
Today, with more than half of its hotels open, take-up rates are still fairly low, particularly in towns and cities. In an interview with online news source ECO, Gonçalo Rebelo de Almeida, group CEO of Vila Galé Group called the pandemic and its effects “the greatest surprise in all of my professional activity”.
He said that the Vila Galé Group had been enjoying a “very busy period” until in March, with the appearance of the first cases, “demand just dried up and all bookings we had for April and May were cancelled”.
The losses have been calculated with revenues down by €30 million. The lay-off was “a great help” as was the support from the government which was sufficient, fast and efficient, but now is the time for the government to create specific measures for specific sectors, like tourism which was really hard hit,” says Gonçalo Rebelo de Almeida.
The CEO said that 24 or the group’s 27 hotels were now open throughout the country but that take-up rates continued to be low with occupation at less than 60% which is “not enough”.
Currently, and despite all the travel restrictions imposed by many countries, the markets that are reacting by making bookings include the French, Dutch and Spanish.
The Portuguese are booking their holidays and staying in hotels, but they’re not enough. “We’re talking about welcoming 5% of the tourists that we normally would see,” says Gonçalo Rebelo de Almeida.
“We didn’t make a single member of staff redundant and this is the main reason we adhered to the lay-off regime,” he said.