Businesses charged more for foreign language billboards

Dear Editor,

I was appalled by your front page story on businesses being charged more for printing advertising posters in English (Algarve Resident edition of August 20).

I hope that some group, organisation etc. will contact the EC office in Lisboa as this may well be illegal under EC law.

However, I am not surprised as it illustrates beautifully something I have held for a long time; and I have been ignored.

That is, that there is a deep seated, often unconscious attitude among politicians, especially câmaras/ tourist board (but also some commercial outlets) that tourists and residents in the Algarve are only Portuguese.

It is shown in attitudes, tourist signs, publications etc. etc. It is deep seated, a refusal to see where we are, to work for the future.

Although Portuguese mainland tourists visiting the Algarve have risen this year and are an important part of tourism, they are still a minority and they spend less time and money here.

In addition, the satisfaction rate of Lisbon tourists is low, whereas among non-Portuguese, the satisfaction rate is high and they come more often, for longer, especially in the winter and spend on average two-thirds more than Lisboa visitors.

There is also the fact that our housing market is in severe difficulties generally and will only improve when, mostly, the British again start buying, rather than leaving for all sorts of reasons, including the lack of effective policing.

You list câmaras, who put these cost barriers against businesses, forgetting that without those businesses, those residents and tourists, there is no Algarve.

No money, as the estimates are that 95% of the Algarve’s economy comes directly or indirectly from non Portuguese residents/tourists. Regretfully, we have no other business.

So one of the most anti-English language/ foreign tourists, people, the President of Albufeira needs to acknowledge himself (as do others) that without those residents/ visitors, there is no future for his area, and no job for him!

In your pages, from time to time, the very hard working leaders of charities here acknowledge that much of their income, support (including Bombeiros,) comes from expats.

PLEASE Presidents, tourist board etc, be honest to yourselves, to the Algarve.

We need to be conscious of the market, we need to be bilingual. We are now in the EC. That is our future not some mystic idea

of a Portuguese speaking commonwealth.



Dear Editor,

If at least they used this extra “tax” money to have someone with proper literacy skills to check both the English and the Portuguese written text that appear in some of the boards…


by email