By: CECÍLIA PIRES
A SERIES of four debates for investors in the Algarve to discuss the government’s PROTAL strategy, which regulates development in the region, are being organised by the Algarve Tourism board (RTA).
These are grouped under a broad umbrella named Turismo, o Farol da Economia Regional, with tourism seen as the anchor for the region’s economy. The first session was held on Friday, April 18, at the RTA’s offices in Faro.
This debate focused on the Núcleos de Desenvolvimento Turístico (NDTs), the areas for tourist development, imposed by the new Programa Regional de Ordenamento do Território (PROTAL).
The NDTs are geographic areas still to be defined by each local council in their plans. These areas will then enclose the new tourism activities to be developed by investors.
However, during the debate, the questions asked by some of those present in the audience, mainly investors, architects, and council representatives, revealed that the NDTs format and location remain a mystery for many in the Algarve.
Macário Correia, president of AMAL, the organisation which represents all councils, was one of the guests at this first debate. Afterwards he told The Resident that he felt that many reforms needed for the Algarve are dependent on a more ambitious project called Regionalização. This administrative reorganisation aims to enlarge the region’s governing power, to control the public funds expenditure and end the existing centralisation in Lisbon.
Also present were Filipe Cunha, representing the Ordem dos Arquitectos, the architects order, and Porfírio da Maia, vice-president of the Algarve’s regional development commission (CCDR).
The session was opened by António Pina, president of the RTA, and the debate was chaired by Nuno Aires, a member of the RTA’s board of directors.
The number of new beds in the Algarve, the type of beds, the quality of the tourist product offered, and the training of the tourism workers were highlighted as positive aspects of the requirements for the NDTs.
They will also have to respect the existing protected areas like the Natura 2000 network, the Agricultural National Reserve, the Ecological National Reserve and other constraining environmental regulations in terms of human occupation of the territory.
The next debate is scheduled for Monday, April 28 and will focus on the QREN (the national strategic document to administer EU funds) and the tourism sector.
To attend the RTA debates, call 289 800 510 or email [email protected]. Please note the debates are in Portuguese.
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