By DAISY SAMPSON
TRADITIONAL TOURIST hotspots in the Algarve will take a back seat if new proposals for future bed supply are adopted.
The plan by the CCDR, the regional development commission, has been submitted to Câmaras throughout the Algarve suggesting that there should be a further 24,000 beds for tourists in the region, with priority for inland municipalities and those at the extreme edges of the Algarve.
The area with the most new beds is set to be Alcoutim, where some 3,000 beds have been authorised, a rise of 62 per cent from the existing number of 4,776 beds in the area.
President of Alcoutim Câmara, Francisco Amaral, said: “This is a great opportunity to change the dynamics of the Algarve which tends to favour coastal regions and forget those in the interior. This should even the equilibrium of the Algarve.”
Aljezur, in the far north west of the Algarve, is also set to see the number of beds increase dramatically with a further 2,700 recommended by the CCDR, a rise of 33 per cent of the total number of beds. Monchique is also a winner in the report with an increase of 41 per cent in the number of beds suggested by the CCDR.
The report shows that central coastal areas, already popular with tourists, will be designated a large number of beds also, however, when this is looked at as a percentage increase it is clear that the CCDR are not actively encouraging a rise in tourism in these areas.
The CCDR has proposed a further 1,840 beds in the Loulé municipality, just a 1.5 per cent increase, while other Câmaras have fared even worse, with Albufeira being granted an increase of just 0.5 per cent and Portimão only 0.9 per cent.
The report, which details the proposed distribution of 24,000 hotel beds, has been met with criticism from the head of the Algarve association for hotels and tourism (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas, who believes the proposal implies that the government can determine the use of private land, restricting private enterprise.
He said: “What criteria were used to decide the total number of beds? Why can it not be a different number?”
João Faria, president of the CCDR in the Algarve, made it clear though that this is only the beginning of a process and Câmaras were yet to respond to the proposals.
He said: “When all opinions have been aired, we will assess the situation again. We hope there will be a final result of the proposal in 2010.”
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