Controversy over tourism bed numbers

SILVES CÂMARA President Isabel Soares has spoken out against proposals by the regional development commission (CCDR) for the allocation of tourist beds in the Algarve.

The CCDR has suggested that tourism in the Algarve should be more balanced throughout the region with areas such as Alcoutim and Aljezur to increase the number of beds in their areas by up to 62 per cent.

It is recommended that areas such as Loulé and Albufeira should only increase their bed numbers by a maximum of 1.5 per cent.

In Silves, the number of extra beds for tourists is proposed to be 1,700, an increase of 3.5 per cent.  However, Isabel Soares believes that this is an unfair number for her municipality as Silves is a predominantly inland area but being treated as a coastal region.

“The proposal is supposed to help inland areas, which Silves is predominantly,” said Isabel Soares.

She added: “Most of the tourist beds in the Silves municipality are found in Armação de Pêra. However, these are actually used as second homes in many cases and this has not been taken into account by the proposal.

“The suggestions need to be made more relevant and take other factors into consideration.”

All the Câmaras in the Algarve have been given an opportunity to air their opinions of the proposal which is to be finalised in 2010.

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