AHETA calls for government intervention to avoid SEF strike

Business association even suggests the use of PSP elements

The Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve called on the Government to «do everything» it can, including resorting to the PSP, to avoid or, at least, lessen the impact of the strike by the Foreigners and Borders Service, which is due to start tomorrow and end on the 10th, covering the entire Easter weekend.

For Algarvian hoteliers, «the national interest must be above private interests and, if there is no other option, the Government must exhaust all legal ways to avoid this strike, even providing for the collaboration of the PSP to lessen the heavy impact».

The request is justified by the strong impact that the stoppage could have "on the main economic activity" in the Algarve, the "main tourist destination in the country".

The business association recalls the «episode that we experienced a few weeks ago at Faro, on the occasion of a national strike, forcing passengers to wait several hours, in crowded rooms, even causing malaise and fainting, among other problems», a situation that was due to the paralysis of SEF elements.

«The most serious thing was the image of the destination that was left to all our customers because, as would be expected, social networks and the media tried to widely disseminate these images, which destroyed the image of the Algarve destination so much that many promotional campaigns will not go away anytime soon», he recalls.

«This is when a new strike notice from the SEF appears, scheduled exactly for the Easter season. It will be unnecessary to remind everyone that Easter marks the end of the low season and allows the influx of thousands of tourists to the Algarve. It is therefore expected that the impact on arrivals and departures at the airport will be significant, continuing to “denigrate” the image of the destination», regrets AHETA.

Despite guaranteeing that it does not question «the rights that everyone has to claim processes», the association argues that «other factors must be considered, such as the contribution that tourism is making to the country», so it calls for the intervention of those with power of decision”.

«We have to define which paths we want to follow, if we should all work for the recovery of the sector and the country or if, on the other hand, we should work to destroy the work already done. (…) The decision is urgent and is on the table at all times», concludes AHETA.