Huge nativity scene

Aiming for a safe Algarve for tourists

by SOPHIE MCCARRICK [email protected]

Algarve tourism entities have been looking at ways “to practice safe tourism” and discussing ways of preparing the region for the summer season.

Due to recent attacks and robberies throughout the Algarve as well as crime cases involving tourists in previous summers, tourism associations are now taking matters into their own hands to ensure that the Algarve name remains strong as a safe holiday destination.

The president of the Portuguese Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (APHORT), Rodrigo Pinto Barros, and the president of the Association of Hotels and Similar Industries of the Algarve (AIHSA), Daniel do Adro, participated in a seminar on March 5 where they both expressed their concern over security matters in the tourism sector following recent violent incidents.

Rodrigo Barros Pinto told Lusa news agency: “In the 1980s, there were thefts and assaults on hotels, restaurants and bars, but they were not violent and did not create dramatic situations such as an armed robbery would.”

The meeting was held following a request to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Miguel Macedo, as both associations believe that if security measures are not improved, there may be a negative impact on the Algarve as a tourist destination.

All involved believed that the Algarve will require heavier policing during the high season and that new policies should be implemented in order to ensure public security and protection.

Daniel do Adro confirmed that Miguel Macedo had guaranteed that the usual means of strengthening police forces will be achieved more efficiently this upcoming summer.

Meanwhile, Macário Correia, president of the Algarve Câmaras Association (AMAL), rejected any suggestions of increased violence throughout the Algarve and believes that the region is “just as safe as ever for those who reside here permanently and for visitors”.

The Algarve Hotels and Tourist Resorts Association (AHETA) and the Portuguese Hotels, Restaurants and Related Businesses Association (AHRESP) were also due to meet on Wednesday in Albufeira, after the Algarve Resident went to press, with Secretary of State for Tourism Cecilia Meireles and Miguel Macedo to review the importance of safe tourism in the Algarve.

The organisations hope that the conference will present opportunities to talk about and analyse the actions that need to be taken to reinforce the idea that the Algarve is “one of the safest destinations in the world”.

All are determined to improve current enforcements and to find additional practical ways of managing security and safety of tourists.

AHETA currently remains focused regarding the issue of security in the Algarve and has been putting pressure on the government to implement a stronger structure to ensure safety.

Click here to follow the Algarve Resident on facebook