The feeling of optimism was expressed to the Lusa by the presidents of the Portuguese Association of Bars, Discotheques and Animators (APBDA), Ricardo Tavares, and of the National Association of Discotheques (ADN), José Gouveia.
“Expectations are high. The hotels are at 90% capacity. Therefore, we believe that the end of the year will be very positive for the sector. We want to get off on the right foot and believe that next year will be one of growth and recovery”, the president of APBDA told Lusa.
In the same vein, José Gouveia expressed the desire for a “full return to New Year’s Eve before the pandemic”.
"The expectation is high because we all hope that the nightlife establishments fill up", pointed out the president of ADN.
Despite the optimism, the associations warned of the difficulties the sector is experiencing, at a time when they are still trying to recover from the losses resulting from the measures to combat the covid-19 pandemic.
“The sector is experiencing some difficulties, namely because it has started to pay all the moratoriums, both on covid financing and rents. It is a very high burden to pay. There are spaces that are paying double the rent they used to pay, as they went two years without paying”, said Ricardo Tavares.
In this sense, the president of the Portuguese Association of Bars and Discotheques admitted that he will seek more support from the sector's entrepreneurs.
"We are trying with the Government to give us a break of three to six months next year with the moratoriums so that businesses can face their debts", he underlined.
For his part, José Gouveia considered that the recovery in the sector is “positive”, although “slow”, as a result of inflation and 19 months in which the activity was closed.
“The problem here is the hole left behind. There was, effectively, a very large drop here during the 19 months in which the establishments were closed, thus being a progressive recovery”, he said.
Ricardo Tavares, the president of ADN defended that the Government will have to be “more attentive” to the difficulties experienced in the sector.
“The Government was a little dormant on this matter. A certain amount of attention should be paid to the development of these activities and whether they need some support”, he stressed.