CTP – Tourism in a “desolate situation”
The President of the Tourism Confederation says the impact of the pandemic has lost Portugal €10Bn in tourism revenues leaving the sector in “desolate situation”.
Francisco Calheiros, president of the CTP (Confederação do Turismo de Portugal), said in an interview with Jornal Económico that the impact caused by the pandemic on Portugal’s tourist industry “is frankly negative” which puts is in a “desolate situation”.
The CTP estimates falls of 65% right across the board in tourism in 2020, with revenues of around €8Bn, representing a fall of 57% on 2019. The impact will put a €10Bn dent in Portugal’s external current account, undoing a lot of the positive balance and achievements obtained in recent years thanks to the decisive contribution of tourism in 2017-2019.
Regarding the tourism balance, this is believed to be around €6Bn or 62% down on 2019, with an estimated fall in bed occupancies in hotels of around 65%.
The total fall in accommodation revenues for all classes of accommodation from hotels to bed and breakfast establishments, and including rural tourism and resorts-based residential tourism, stands at €3Bn.
In terms of passenger numbers at Portugal’s airports, these suffered a 60% fall, wiping off €2Bn, while the car rental sector has seen a fall of 65-70% overall and 80% in terms of tourism car rental.
In terms of employment, which in 2019 provided 300,000 direct jobs in accommodation, restaurants and travel agencies, the INE statical institute has calculated that between February and September, the Portuguese economy lost 83,000 jobs, many of them in tourism.
In 2019 the tourism sector, Portugal’s largest in terms of export activity, was responsible for 52.3% of service exports and 19.7% of total exports as well as 8.7% of total national GP.
Prospects for 2021
The CTP says 2021 will continue to be fairly uncertain with the situation deteriorating over the past few weeks with it being difficult to make forecasts from April onwards, let alone look to 2023 or 2024.
“On thing is certain, regarding the measures imposed, the more restrictive they are, the worse it will be for tourism and for the national economy as a whole,” says CTP president, Francisco Calheiros.