British tourists? “There are other markets to explore. Why not think about it? ” - Plataforma Media

British tourists? “There are other markets to explore. Why not think about it? ”

Interview with Jorge Mangorrinha, tourism historian, about the impact of the covid-19 on the visit of foreigners this summer to Portugal.

Were you surprised by the British decision to force tourists visiting Portugal to quarantine themselves? Much less die of covid-19 in the Algarve than in London. This is a concrete statistical fact, but, as in everything in life, numbers are not the only variable that guides human decisions. My surprise turns into resignation, because I believe in the lack of effective communication, which would have bet on the appeal to qualitative data and values ​​and in a diplomatic action that anticipated the present reality. Another sign that we are betting on reactive governance and not on anticipation.

After the initial praise, Portugal came to be viewed with suspicion due to the persistence of the number of infected. Is it an exaggeration motivated by a discreet war over the tourist market?
This war is not just a game of markets, but it is part of a wider war, by episodes and by sectors. This war constitutes a hypothetical World War III, with different contours from the previous ones. But it would be important that, when we return to having tourists arriving, for example, from the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, each country already has its internal situation resolved, as far as covid-19 is concerned.

Do you believe that the Portuguese domestic market, with fewer Portuguese people going abroad, will be able to minimize the impact of the drop in foreign tourists?
I think so. But tourism will be one of the most difficult sectors to recover in the short term, although I believe that, if there is no second wave of covid-19, the recovery will be less slow than the one that many agents proclaim. In both scenarios, the creativity of all and the maintenance of the practices of this difficult period are urgent.

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Este artigo está disponível em: Português

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