For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, hotels and inns in different regions of Brazil have registered high demand. Several hotels operated at the limit of hotel capacity allowed during the extended 7th September holiday.
According to the National ABIH (Brazilian Hotel Industry Association), tourists have chosen to make short trips during the holiday - in some places, the occupancy rate reached 90%.
"Demand has increased mainly in regional destinations such as Jericoacoara (CE), Porto de Galinhas (PE), Pipa (RN). These destinations, where it is possible to travel with family in the car for distances of up to 300 kilometers, have had excellent occupancy rates. But business tourism, as in São Paulo, has remained low, about 10%," says Manoel Linhares, president of ABIH.
For Linhares, the increase in demand reflects the long period of the pandemic in the country, which has been going on for six months. The hotels have received guidelines against COVID-19 and developed security protocols accordingly.
Although they vary depending on the regulations in each region, the rules include limiting the unit’s total capacity, checking in electronically, having hand sanitizer available in all rooms, wearing a mask in shared areas, and providing breakfast in the room at no extra charge.
In Santos, on the coast of the state of São Paulo, the accommodations again have a good number of tourists. In downtown Santos, hotels have a 60% limit and the occupation was not higher only because it is not allowed by law.
At the Unique Garden in Mairiporã, the occupation was 60% during the holiday - the maximum allowed in this stage of the gradual return to activity. "At this delicate time, our main goal is to provide a safe and healthy environment, aligning the excellence of our services with the latest health protocols to combat the spread of COVID-19," proclaims the hotel managers on the hotel website.
In Rio de Janeiro, hotels are also in greater demand. This weekend, the movement was much bigger than in the previous days. The hotel occupancy was between 50% and 60%.
One of the main tourist destinations in the Northeast, Porto de Galinhas, in the state of Pernambuco, was in great demand. In Porto de Galinhas, hotels and inns can fill up to 50% of their capacity, according to local rules. But there were a lot of people: the natural pools were full.
A famous destination in Ceará, Jericoacoara also had large crowds of people on the beaches. The village only opened in August and the demand has become very strong now.
The president of ABIH Manoel Linhas says that, despite the high demand of people during the holiday, the tourist sector "will be the last to recover from the crisis caused by the pandemic". "If we take into account weekends and holidays, it is eight days a month with good occupation: the hotel business does not survive with that," he says. "For this sector, with the high tax burden, expensive supplies and many employees, the break-even point is approximately reached with 50% every day".