Azores occupancy under 50% for New Year

Cancellations after testing enforced

Azores cruise ships

Açoriano Oriental report that the representative for the Azores Hotel Association, Fernando Neves, said today that he expects an occupancy rate of less than 50% for the end of the year, due to measures to combat covid-19, which have led to “several cancellations”.

Speaking to the Lusa news agency, the regional delegate of the Hotel Association of Portugal (AHP), says that original forecasts pointed to “an occupation at the end of the year above 70%” in the Azores, a figure that fell after the announcement of new restrictions to control the pandemic.

“For the end of the year, expectations were good. There was interest and there was demand. But, with the new measures and restrictions, taken at a national level, reservations were lowered and cancellations began. Possibly, the occupation will be less than 50%”, he declared.

Fernando Neves considered that the end of the year in the Azores will be “below initial expectations”, mainly due to the cancellation of national tourists.

“There have been cancellations of people who were to come and are no longer coming. Our market is very focused on the national market. The international market is very still”, he pointed out.

To “aggravate” the situation, the hotelier emphasizes that several establishments are canceling the New Year’s events, due to the obligation to present a negative test for COVID-19, in force for those landing on the island of São Miguel.

“For events, where testing is necessary, there are some difficulties because there are not many testing areas in Ponta Delgada. There is some difficulty in testing, which makes people less willing to leave the house”, he added.

Fernando Neves warned of the “difficulties” for hoteliers in the Azores, also recalling that the “Christmas period is always a very weak period”.“Christmas, in recent years has even been improving and this year there was even some interest, but it is always a time when there is not much demand”, he pointed out.

On December 22, it was announced that the Azores would limit the presence of the public at events on the island of São Miguel, where community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is identified, and require tests to be carried out for access to events and prohibit celebrations to the open air.

On December 21st, the Government of the Republic decided to reinforce some of the containment measures, determining the obligatory requirement for a negative test for COVID-19 to access to hotels and accommodation establishments, effective from December 25.

COVID-19 in Madeira: daily updates can be found in an earlier post

Travel latest: requirements for entering and leaving Madeira: is kept up-to-date on a previous post

New restrictions: a detailed updated explanation of the latest regulations can be found here

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