A major travel industry forum planned next week in Evora has been postponed until May next year.

The Evora Forum: A World for Travel planned for November 5-6 had 900 industry figures registered to participate in person or online and was expecting up to 350 attendees.

The decision to cancel was taken by the Portuguese authorities and organisers in light of the tightening restrictions on movement around Europe due to the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

The event has been rescheduled for May 10-11 next year in Evora.

However, there will be a two-hour online event with leading industry figures on the immediate outlook for travel on November 5, on what would have been the opening day of the forum.

Portugal’s secretary of state for tourism Rita Marques (pictured) will deliver an address, as will Gloria Guevara, president and chief executive of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Guevara will then join a panel debate with speakers including Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, secretary of state for tourism in France; Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism for Jamaica; Najib Balala, minister of tourism and wildlife for Kenya; and Mario Hardy, chief executive of the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

The virtual event is scheduled for 10.00-12.00 GMT on November 5. A link will be made available to registered attendees in advance.

In a statement, the organisers said: “We live in unprecedented and unpredictable times.

“Planning and organising an event such as the Évora Forum – A World for Travel in the current situation is a significant challenge.

“We were all ready to welcome delegations, speakers and over 900 registered delegates for the Forum, including 350 arriving in person at Évora.

“However, considering the current pandemic evolution in Europe, the travel restrictions that exist between countries and, most important, in accordance with local health authority guidance, the Évora Forum has to be postponed until May 10 and 11, 2021.

“We are truly sorry.”