Economy minister António Costa Silva - Photo: Beatriz Maio/Open Media Group
Economy minister António Costa Silva - Photo: Beatriz Maio/Open Media Group

Algarve tourism to receive €30 million boost

Announcement was made during conference to mark World Tourism Day

Portugal’s Minister of Economy and Sea has announced a €30 million boost to the ‘Linha + Algarve’ tourism financing line. António Costa Silva revealed the news on Wednesday at a conference to celebrate World Tourism Day at Hotel NAU Salgados Palace in Albufeira.

This financial boost is part of a comprehensive package of measures totalling €100 million, with €50 million allocated to the “Linha Turismo + Sustentável” (Tourism + Sustainable Line) and €20 million for the “Linha Turismo + Crescimento” (Tourism + Growth Line).

The minister highlighted that these new funds are specifically designed to “support more sustainable tourism, so it was designed for businesses committed to sustainability, water management, energy efficiency, and resource conservation in the tourism sector.”

The €30 million earmarked for the Algarve will be available to companies seeking to enhance and upgrade their assets and what they have to offer. The financial support will be made available by national tourism authority Turismo de Portugal (75%) and the banking sector (25%). Depending on the outcome of the projects requesting aid, 30% of financing may become non-refundable.

António Costa Silva also disclosed that the maximum individual funding amount will be capped at €750,000.

“Companies are central to economic development”

Speaking at the conference, the minister said “companies are central to the development and transformation of the Portuguese economy”, highlighting that tourism can play a leading role in the “transformation of local economy”.

António Costa Silva revealed that Portugal has “all the conditions to make tourism a major international reference, which it already is today, not only as a reference for the present but also for the future.”

The minister highlighted the investment of €130 million in the “Accelerate and Transform Tourism” agenda and challenged the tourism leadership in Portugal “to engage in extensive discussions with all operators to see what tourism will be like in five and 10 years in terms of accommodation, airports, and services.”

António Costa Silva also revealed he believes that “the umbilical connection between tourism and digitalisation can be absolutely transformative”.

“Investment is crucial,” the minister said, also stressing the need to attract more people, reconfigure what the country has to offer in terms of tourism, and respond to the demands of travellers worldwide as well as the urgency of “transforming the national tourism sector into one of the most sustainable in the world”.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa - Photo: Beatriz Maio/Open Media Group
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa – Photo: Beatriz Maio/Open Media Group

Execution of RRP “must go well”

President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was also in attendance and spoke of the importance of the execution of Portugal’s Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP).

“All Portuguese should be committed to ensuring that its execution goes well,” said Marcelo in the closing session.

As he pointed out, there is “an awakening of the Prime Minister and the government to the rapidly changing times,” adding that Portugal is “still in a favourable situation compared to many European partners.”

Despite acknowledging that bureaucracy “is often difficult due to fixed deadlines that cannot be exceeded”, the Head of State believes that it is essential to accelerate the implementation of initiatives related to the RRP.

“For the Portuguese, it is necessary to be committed to ensuring that the execution goes well,” said the President of the Republic, expressing his happiness at the European decision to increase RRP funding for the country. He noted that this decision means that the government does not have to request more loans, as it “increases the share of European funds that do not have an interest penalty for excess loans”.