Hotels can repurpose into offices, training centres and showrooms
Hotels and resorts in Portugal can now consider adapting all or part of their premises for co-working, showrooms, training centres, exhibition and events.
Change of use within Portugal’s hotel and resorts segment is just one of a number of “extraordinary temporary measures” that the Government approved at a meeting of the Council of Ministers on Friday 19, November to help stem the spread of Covid infections, but also to offset the effects of the crisis on the various sectors of the economy most affected by the pandemic.
One measure would be to allow tourist developments to be able to take the “exceptional” step to “temporarily” make all or part of their accommodation units “available for other compatible uses.”
According to the Republic circular Diário da República, these uses are:
“Extended lodging, both with and without service provision, offices and cowork spaces, meetings, exhibitions and other cultural events, showrooms, education and training, social and elderly day centres and centres for other groups and organisations.”
The responsibility will be down to the hotels to decide the number of units they will make available for new uses and can chose to use part of all of their premises which will not put at risk their qualification to operate as tourism enterprises.
However, those hotels and resorts have to inform the Institute of Tourism of Portugal which accommodation units and number of corresponding beds would now be set aside for these new uses.
Furthermore, so that the accommodation units may be made available for other activities, dovetailing the new uses with the entity’s general activity of tourism is required under the terms of the legal diploma.
In the diploma, the Government recognises that the activity of tourist accommodation offer has “an enormous relevance for the economy and national employment” for a sector which has “suffered a significant reduction in demand due to the worldwide adoption of confinement measures” and the “restriction on the movement of citizens”.
These concessions follow appeals from the Portuguese Hotels Association (AHP), which sent a proposal at the beginning of November to allow a change of use of under occupied or unoccupied hotel accommodation because of Covid-19, some of which already serve as student accommodation because of protocols signed with universities, or act as residences for health professionals.