How the Covid Pandemic changed our Tours
During pandemic times, we can say that the whole world suffers. I am sure that those who are reading also suffered in the skin in one way or another, in professional terms, with the COVID-19. There are countless companies whose activity had to be stopped or reduced due to the virus.
But for me, no branch has suffered as much as tourism. Let’s go back in time … March. Time when the virus starts to threaten Portugal. It was also a time when we, in tourism, started to enter the high season of work. The weather was getting warmer and less rainy. There were many tourists and they arrived earlier and earlier than last year (2019). Everything indicated that it was going to be the best year for Porto tourism. We were radiant and full of strength to begin with!
Meanwhile, COVID arrives in Portugal. Two or three cases of people admitted to Hospital de Santo António. He went to look for clients in the Center of Porto and when passing by the Hospital he saw the reporters and the cameras to follow the evolution minute by minute. I stopped by on business and even thought it was funny, minimized the situation.
The truth is that from day to day the virus started to multiply and the tours started to be done with concern. We and our partners quickly started voluntary confinement even before the situation became serious – a wise decision. We thought it was going to be a break for just a few weeks, but we were wrong.
The activity had to stop completely for three months – April, May, June. Three months that, in fact, we can say are dragging on indefinitely.
Despite the lack of definition and despite the fact that tourism is returning to Porto, reservations for tours are still coming in fear. We understand that it is not comfortable for people to be traveling in vehicles with other strangers and to undergo group activities.
In this regard, we have great news! Our company took advantage of the lack of definition to acquire the Clean & Safe certificate and all the disinfection and protection material for our guides and customers. In addition, we bet on tours that are even more “socially distant”: the capacity of the vehicles increased to 2/3 of the usual. All of our partners wear a protective mask and regularly disinfect the establishments to be visited.
We want to be an example that it is possible to spend a day with us, relax, have fun: all of this with maximum safety and care!
Text by Cheila Oliveira, Tour Guide at Oporto Road Trips