Latest news



Coimbra, Feb 02, 2022 (Lusa) – Safety will be an even more decisive aspect when choosing a holiday destination after the covid-19 pandemic, revealed a study by researchers from the University of Coimbra (UC) released today.

The conclusions of the study, conducted by Catarina Gouveia and Cláudia Seabra, researchers at the Center for Studies on Geography and Spatial Planning (CEGOT), classified safety as “a fundamental factor to consider in the recovery of the tourist industry”.

The authors added that the covid-19 pandemic had a very significant effect on the perception of safety for the practice of various tourist activities.

“In global terms, tourists indicate a higher perception of risk for the practice of all tourist and leisure activities, especially those practiced in closed or small spaces, that is, with greater agglomeration of people, especially amusement or theme parks, concerts and shows, sporting events, urban/historical centers, shopping in shopping centers and streets, casinos and gambling houses, nightclubs and nightlife venues”, said Cláudia Seabra, quoted in a press release sent to Lusa agency.

The professor at the UC Faculty of Arts noted, on the other hand, that activities related to nature, such as sports or trips to ocean and river beaches, “despite the negative impact of the pandemic, are still considered less unsafe activities.”

Visits to art galleries, museums and monuments and going to restaurants “are also activities considered less unsafe, although the perception of safety in their practice has been reduced after the pandemic”, stressed Cláudia Seabra.

The study involved 320 tourists who visited the Centro region over seven months – between November 2020 and May 2021 – the majority (98.4%) of Portuguese nationality.

“It was clear that the impacts of the pandemic were severe for Central Portugal, one of the most diversified regions in terms of tourism in the country, which, until the beginning of 2020, was booming. The results indicate that tourists in Central Portugal have changed their habits, especially with regard to the type of accommodation, security and transport used in the trips”, underlined Cláudia Seabra.

COMMENT: In fact safety has been identified from previous surveys as being the top factor for tourists, although not Covid-19 related. ABTA (British Tourism Association) survey 2015 – Safety and security no 1 priority among holiday makers. Our remit at Safe Communities Portugal is promoting Safe Tourism and this small survey highlights the importance of this.