Porto Real Estate
09 April 2020
Real estate: Iberian market is bet to get out of crisis
Jornal Económico

Extending the domestic market to Spain is the short-term strategy of the hospitality sector in Portugal. Cristina Siza Vieira, executive director of the Portuguese Hospitality Association (AHP), says that the Covid-19 pandemic will lead countries to turn inward to encourage domestic consumption.

"Portugal is more than 90% dependent on air transport and, at the moment, the biggest concern until the end of the year is the resumption of tourism. But with airlines stopped, we will be facing the extended domestic market that is Portugal and Spain, because it is right next door and the fact that people can come by car”, says the head of AHP. However, in the "medium and long term, we will continue to invest in other destinations as was already the case”, stressing that the national average for Portuguese tourism is around 40% and that "making it grow more will be vital”.

So that this growth can be made, Cristina Siza Vieira assumes that the concern of the hotel industry is to align itself with "what is the strategy of Tourism of Portugal”. "Friendlier products for families, better booking conditions, betting on more economical packages and this extension also for the Spanish market must be created", he says.

However, the head of AHP stresses that "the hospitality industry has never neglected the national market”, as Lisbon and Porto are like other world-class cities that "do not live long from domestic tourism”. Assuming that the coming times will be different for all tourist destinations due to the pandemic, it is very natural, according to Cristina Siza Vieira, that "go out inside campaigns, even worldwide, should be launched, while there is no security in the opening of borders”.


Recovering real estate to boost tourism

"Everything that affects tourism affects real estate, and vice versa", says Luís Lima, president of the Association of Professionals and Real Estate Companies of Portugal (APEMIP), who believes that in terms of foreign investment, tourism will take longer time to recover that real estate, and that this sector will again recover tourism. "We have already done so in the past, we were the first to go abroad to attract investment from France and China. Nowadays, of the more than 40 thousand French people who live in Portugal, six thousand are in Algarve and 18 thousand in Lisbon”, adding that "we need to maintain some foreign investment route, even though we think we are going to move more towards the domestic market”.

The official says that "since real estate cannot rely on tourism in the coming months, or even next year, we will have to be able to continue to rely on this regime for attracting foreign investment", he concludes.

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