Algarve Fun, a leading provider of tickets for attractions including water parks in Portugal, conducted a survey to measure the expected effect of Covid-19 on the summer season which is so crucial for many tourism businesses.
The survey found that 69.3% of respondents still intend to go on holiday this summer. Of course this will be dependent upon whether there are any restrictions remaining and on the availability of flights. Flights could be in short supply if social distancing measures are introduced on airlines, not least with RyanAir who have already threatened not to fly if they are forced to leave middle seats empty.
21.7% respondents said they have already cancelled, or will be cancelling, their summer holiday plans. So whatever happens this year it’s likely that this summer will be quiet for many tourism businesses which could add increasing financial pressure after several months of closures during lockdown.
Algarve Fun’s CEO Gary Miller said “the Algarve has a relatively short tourist season, and without a successful summer to top up their cash reserves many businesses will be facing a challenging winter in 2020”. He went on to comment “for those who do travel after lockdown they’ll be ready for a holiday and with quieter than usual beaches, they will have plenty of space to enjoy them”.
Many of the leading holiday rental platforms including AirBnb and Holiday Lettings (TripAdvisor) have temporarily offered increased flexibility for guests to be able to cancel. However in most cases guests can only get a refund on their accommodation if their flights are cancelled. So those survey respondents who do plan to cancel their trips might risk significant losses with little chance of a refund.