I want to think the worst is over, says Nuno Tomaz, commercial director of the GEA

The GEA Travel Agency Network, as the Tourism Option already reported a few days ago, will hold its 17th National Convention, de 26 a 28 de Novembro, in Fatima.

The official opening of the event will be attended by Pedro Costa Ferreira, presidente da APAVT; by Pedro Machado, President of ERT from the Center; and the president of CM de Ourém, Luís Albuquerque.

The Convention begins with an internal GEA working session, in the Auditorium of the Steyler Fátima Hotel, taking place at 20:30 the usual Presentation Dinner and delivery of loyalty prizes.

The next day, at 9:30 am, the official opening of the Convention takes place, followed by the debates “The technological and digital transformation”, by Claudio Santos (Amadeus); and "When losing becomes winning", by Nuno Santos. Interspersing these two debates, the panel "Changes and trends in the product and behavior of post-covid distribution from the perspective of suppliers".

To terminate, Carla Carvalho Dias, will address the theme of "Service in the post-covid era". At the end of your presentation, you will make a wrap up of this day of the GEA Convention.

The 17th GEA Convention ends with the closing dinner that will take place on Thursday D. Nuno, in Fatima, preceded by a 'welcome drink'.

The next day, after the guided visit to the Medieval Village of Ourém and the Administrator's House, there will be a farewell buffet lunch at the Cinquentenário Hotel Restaurant, in Fatima.

Taking advantage of the 17th GEA Convention, Option Tourism exchanged some impressions with Nuno Tomaz, commercial director of the group, which began by saying that the choice of Fátima to hold the event did not obey any particular reason or that a strategy was followed..

It was more a set of assumptions that, aliás, are the same ones we always take into account when organizing this event of ours.. As long as the location meets the necessary requirements for organizing our event, the quality of the hotels, the infrastructure necessary for the logistics of the convention, etc. etc., highlights Nuno Tomaz, adding that the institutional support that regional tourism entities and/or possibly local authorities grant us to achieve the event also enter into this balance..

To date, a total of GEA Group members are 328 agências (venues), in a grand total of 410 balcões.

No final de 2019 the group had a total of 327 agências (venues), in a grand total of 427 balcões. Todavia, em 2020 and after the start of the Covid19 pandemic in March, there was a decrease in the number of branches throughout the year 2020, what was expected due to the situation that resulted from it. But that we have been progressively recovering.

Enter the end of 2019 and in the current period the difference amounts to a growth of 7,93% in the total number of member agencies, e 6,34% in the total number of branches.

– Which products/destinations are the most sold/destinations by the set of agencies in the network?

As for destination sales, our interviewee points out that with the Covid pandemic19, and given the consequences that ensued such as the many travel restrictions, closed destinations, travel difficulties, the most sought after destinations were proximity.

Obviously, Portugal was at the top, including the archipelagos of Madeira, with special emphasis on Porto Santo, and the Azores. It was also noticed, and due to lesser restrictions in Maldives, and the facilities created by the connections in Dubai, a very significant and beyond normal move for this destination..

– What do you expect from this Convention?

Our conventions are always very special events for us. In addition to being the only time of the year when we are able to be closer to as many people as possible with whom we work every day., it is in them that we present our main ongoing projects, the numbers of the annual productive performance of our universe of companies, and we always organize them so that they always manage to add maximum value to our agencies, whether by bringing speakers or figures that stand out in one or another area of ​​knowledge or expertise, be also always debating issues that are on the agenda by inviting prominent figures in the sector.

The commercial director of the Gea Group also notes that it is at these conventions that the group's pulse is taken., how the year went to make an attempt to analyze how the near future will be.

No entanto, this 17th Convention, due to the almost two “unique and unprecedented” years that we have lived since March of 2020, takes on very special contours. We were forced to distance ourselves from each other in person. This convention will bring something that no other has brought and that's why we anticipate it to be very special. It will be a convention for reunions, not just professionals, but also of human beings who over the years have become much more than that., which consolidated relationships of esteem and friendship beyond the purely professional aspect..

how do you see the current year? Optimism?

– We have noticed a mix of optimism with some recent fear of the mix, to which the news that in the last two weeks has invaded the media will not be alien., about the escalation of new contagions across Eastern and Northern Europe.

As for the good news, already in the sector and speaking of generalities, Nuno Tomaz reveals that it was those referring to the months of September and October that represented very interesting increases in production, in some cases similar and in others even greater than 2019, catapulted by the existence of a product on the market as it has not been seen since 2019. Obviously caused by the progressive opening of markets that allowed the resumption of tourist flows.

A terminar, Nuno Tomaz says he wants to think that the worst is over, and that the year of 2022 it will effectively be the year in which the sales movement will be the return of a certain normality, which will definitely allow the sales curve to be placed on an ascending and continuous line.

Luís de Magalhães