Great pity

Dear Editor,

Your headline “English speaker slammed at tourism conference” (The Resident, December 7 edition) is so exaggerated that it would not be out of place in a British redtop such as the Sun.

Jenny Compton, an archaeologist by training, is a member of the Executive Committee of Algarve Archaeological Association (AAA).

She has worked for some years in the Algarve to further the cause of archaeology both with AAA and with Portuguese archaeologists excavating at Alcalar and elsewhere. It is a tribute to the esteem in which she is held in Portuguese archaeological circles that she was invited by the Portuguese organisers of the tourism conference in Portimão on November 30 to give the introductory talk. They were perfectly happy with the content and style of Jenny’s presentation in English and assured her that no translations were necessary.  

Because the Algarve is a major tourist destination for so many English speakers, I am astonished that anybody involved with tourism here would admit to being unable to speak English. Portugal is renowned the world over for the courtesy of its people and it is a great pity that the intemperate remarks of one individual at this conference should overshadow the real cooperation and mutual respect between professionals and enthusiasts in the field.

Peter Kingdon Booker

President, Algarve Archaeological Association

Morenos, Tavira