Lisbon is embracing tourism with 12 new hotels already opened this year, and nine more scheduled to start before 2016. As Diário de Notícias remarks, “hostels are in a minority” in the capital that has become “a hot favourite” for the world’s tourists. In 2014, Lisbon was the European capital that most grew in terms of hotel reservations. The city’s tourism association says there are now 175 hotels to choose from, with nine further venues due to open their doors by December.
But far from eliciting positive commentary online, the story has spurred readers into complaining that after 900 years in which Portugal was a major world power, it is now reduced to serving drinks and meals and making beds.
“Living off the money of others” is how one commentator put it, with another complaining that the capital “continues excessively dirty, full of rubbish, littered with tags and graffiti, peppered by uncontrolled parking, irritating tuk-tuks, floods, roads and pavements in poor condition and without any form of growth that isn’t tourism (a tourism that the council is unable to control), systemic destruction of architectural culture, excessive pollution, etc etc…”
As the only foreigner writing in on the subject queried: “Everything that is good for the economy makes sense and helps everything else – but here we seem to have people “against everything”… What do they want? The economy to get better, or worse?”